Does anyone else (you can admit it silently - I won't tell) have a hard time keeping the main thing the main thing when it comes to the holidays? That's a phrase my childhood pastor would use: "keep the main thing the main thing" - and it's a phrase that reclaims what should be simple about our faith: Christ. Christ is always central, always best, and always worthy of celebration. Always. Our celebration is not confined to seasons, but there is a special place for greater focus and greater reflection. Christmas is such a season and one in danger of being overshadowed by family plans, casseroles, stressful travel arrangements, Aunt Georgia's dinner table conversation, and last minute purchases.
Friends, today I am going to issue a bit of a challenge: don't give in.
When Satan tries to steal today by overwhelming you with earthly expectations and burnt pumpkin pies, respond by treasuring Christ. If your family gets caught up in tradition and the schedule gets as overstuffed as the turkey, respond by treasuring Christ.
Let's treasure Christ in our traditions and hold everything else loosely.
Whether you are the one cooking the turkey or the one in charge of setting up the Christmas tree, this message by Noel Piper reminds us that traditions are Scriptural and so are holidays. Remember how beautifully the Israelites carried out their festivals and feasts? The Lord blessed those gatherings as special times set apart to rejoice with community and remember His provision for them.
As you are washing dishes or picking up the house or setting out that wooden block nativity set your grandpa made, think about ways you might treasure tradition instead of Christ. If you are struggling to keep Christ in the center, consider doing this (free) Advent Devotional.
And, just so you know - you are not exempt from this encouragement if you do not have children. God has uniquely designed and equipped the Body of Christ so that we can create traditions together that treasure Him. Together we establish routines of praise where everyone has a part - widows, young families, singles, grown families, couples - there is a seat at the abundant table of tradition for everyone in God's family to celebrate His mercies!
I do not own a home that requires rearranging nor do I have children to scold if they upset the cookie sprinkles... but I do have a responsibility as a member of the Body of Christ to step into the Christmas celebration with Christ as my greatest treasure and greatest tradition.
It is my hope that as a guest, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend I will be ready to make the main thing my favorite thing to celebrate.
let LOVE fly like cRaZy