“But the Lord said to her, ‘My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:41-42 (NLT)
I have many cherished childhood holiday memories. One of my favorite things to do was to pin the next ornament on the tree Advent tree my Great Aunt had made me. Counting the days to Christmas was so fun…. and it took FOREVER to arrive.
Funny how things change as we become adults and parents. Almost EVERY SINGLE MOM I talk to is “stressed up to HERE” about the holidays. No wonder! There is planning, budgeting, shopping, decorating, wrapping, cooking, partying, baking, cleaning, gifting, traveling and so much more and when we pile it all together it makes for some frazzled Mamas.
We see so many beautiful stories of giving during the Holidays, but also news stories about Black Friday stampedes, vehicle break-ins, credit card debt, family tensions and so on… the “holiday season” now has a negative connotation for many. Sadly, some people flat out DREAD this time of year.
Personally, I love the season, but will raise my hand high if you ask me if I feel more stressed than normal. I love and crave simplicity, but despite my best efforts I usually end up having at least one melt down while trying to “get it all done”. Instead of spending time reflecting on the fact that God came to Earth as a human being in order to save his people from their sins, I’m running around checking people off my shopping list or making sure my kids have the right pants for the Christmas play.
We’re missing the point of Christmas.
In our culture it’s easy to forget that this holiday is about the BIRTH of our SAVIOR! We succumb to the commercialism and the love of “stuff”. We covet through Instagram. Our beautiful home decorations become idols. Our complicated family situations steal our joy. We become prideful in making sure we gift our children with their every want. We end up feeling unfulfilled, overwhelmed and inadequate because we obsess over the details rather than celebrating the “one thing worth being concerned about”.
Shall we lower the bar? Don’t just do it but tell people about it. Lower the bar for others as you demonstrate your decision! Decide now. I will not __________ to please people. I will not get sucked into the comparison trap. I will not allow worldly pressure to make me sacrifice glorifying my savior.
Let’s do it differently this year.
Let’s pray to be moved by what Jesus has done for us.
Let’s take a step of faith that God puts on our hearts.
Let’s spend time in the Gospels.
Let’s focus on praising Him, teaching our children about Him, and acting out of faith in Him.
Let’s use this celebratory time to serve in His name, to be His hands and feet in a world that desperately needs him.
Let’s share His love, his grace, and his message through our words and actions.
My prayer is that, as believers, we can use this season to know God better and Love him more.