“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”
(which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23
I was 24 days old on my first Christmas. My favorite picture shows me seated on my dad’s knee, a decorated tree in the background. His note on the back says he was explaining to me all about Christmas.
Every year the department stores seem to begin their push to get us to buy the perfect gift earlier. It’s no longer unusual to see Christmas decorations right across the aisle from Halloween stuff—something that never ceases to strike me as paradoxical. The struggle to keep Christmas focused on the birth of Jesus is harder all the time.
“Deck the halls with boughs of holly…” the song proclaims. We decorate our homes inside and out, bringing in beauty and greenery to brighten the stark winter season, but what about our hearts? Are we as deliberate to prepare our hearts for Christmas as we are our homes?
Several years ago a friend of mine gave me a devotional book with 25 readings for morning and evening. It has become a precious ritual of mine to begin on the first of December to prepare my heart for the coming of Christ by filling it twice a day with reminders from scripture.
The Christmas rush of department stores can destroy “the season to be jolly” rather quickly. A heart rightly prepared for the coming of the Christ Child can be filled with joy anywhere, any time, even if your life circumstances keep the holidays from being one of your favorite times.
As you “don” your “gay apparel” spend some time listening to the words of the age-old Yuletide carols about the birth of Jesus Christ.
This year concentrate more on preparing your heart than your home. Spend time telling about the real meaning of Christmas—the coming of Immanuel—God with us.
Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston-Holtman & 2MefromHim Ministries, 2011. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission of author.