In Old Testament times, people built altars as a memorial to teach succeeding generations about God and His character. Gathering for a family “altar” or a devotional time is a good way to teach your children about God and His ways.
December 10, 2020
“I’m sick and tired of Christmas!” Sure, you’ve never actually said those words—out loud! You value holding on to your church membership way too much to do that. And besides, who wants to be likened to good ol’ Ebenezer anyway? But how many times has Christmas hate speech reverberated in the corridors of your frustrated, exhausted, overwhelmed mind? While many around you seem to have been bitten by the Christmas love bug, the “humbug” is the only critter that’s nipping at your nose this holly, jolly season.
I’ve been there—many, many times. In fact, every Christmas season tends to feel a bit like a rerun of the classic movie “Groundhog Day.” You know what I’m talking about. “So what are we doing for Christmas this year?” That’s where the conversation typically ends up heading, right after Thanksgiving dinner has wrapped up, just before the tryptophan does its glorious magic and everyone is startled by the outburst of Uncle Bob’s explosive snore-fest. And so it begins. That all-too-familiar low-grade tension kicks in, and the proverbial timebomb is set a-tickin’.
As you cross out one box after the other on your calendar, and make the seemingly endless march toward December 25, you can feel the pressure incrementally rising with each passing day. Oodles of anxious thoughts begin bombarding your mind—and they don’t stop. Gotta get the Christmas tree; gotta decorate the Christmas tree; gotta take our family Christmas photo; gotta figure out what we’re all wearing for our family Christmas photo; I think Christmas trees might actually be pagan; gotta create and order our Christmas cards; gotta mail our Christmas cards; gotta hang up the lights outside, Kringle should have used giants instead of elves—they could get so much more work done—bigger hands; gotta cross people off the mailing list this year; gotta add people to the mailing list this year; I can’t believe I have to work on Black Friday; gotta change people’s addresses on the mailing list this year; I don’t think Jesus was even born on December 25; gotta decorate the house; gotta plan the party; wow—people actually tell their kids that Saint Nick comes down the chimney; I think we’re doing the party this year; wait a minute, Santa actually has the same letters as Satan; maybe someone else is doing the party this year; eggnog; gotta figure out which side of the family we’re spending Christmas Day with this year; gotta decide which dishes to make; gotta buy a new, glittery, color-coordinated, Christmasy outfit; “Grandma got run over by a reindeer”; gotta buy gifts; oh, no—I’ve gotta buy gifts; GIFTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3, 2, 1—and that’s right about when the timebomb strikes zero. Boom!
So now you expect me to give you a long, step-by-step list that will tell you how to stop the madness. Nope. I just have one Word for you. This is the most powerful Word in the universe. If you meditate on this Word (I mean, really, really meditate on this Word) and grasp the significance of this Word (I mean, really, really, really grasp the significance of this Word), your attitude will be transformed, your worries will melt away, and Christmas will be changed for you, forever. Ready? Here you go…
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)