A Meaningful Christmas

Gwen SmithBlog 10 Comments

On the night divinity merged with fleshy humanity as Jesus came on the scene in a stable, things of earth were shaken and stirred with fresh glory and awesome wonder.

A host of heavenly angels appeared in the sky praising God and celebrating the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah. They left their veiled existence to speak and sing to a few lowly shepherds in a field.

Wait, what? Why?

To announce the good news of great joy that came as a gift from God in a cloth-clad baby-package named Jesus. The singing sky-creatures pointed the shepherds to the swaddled Savior who was in a manger near-by and urged them to go and check out the Christ child.

When the shepherds came on the scene they found Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus just as the angels had said (Luke 2:16). They worshiped, were in awe, and “spread the word concerning what had been told them concerning this child” (Luke 2:17, 20).

And Mary? She took it all in.

She reflected and worshiped.

The Bible says she, “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

I know this story. You probably do too. But let’s glance again at the responses…

In celebration of the mangered-Messiah, heavenly hosts sang praises to God and lit up the sky with joy. Shepherds ran to see Jesus, glorified God, and amazed listeners by telling them about all they had seen and heard. A young new mama soaked in the wonder of it all and marinated in the majesty before her.

When I consider the contrast between the first Christmas and today’s Christmas, I realize how far we’ve wandered.

Instead of filling the sky with declarations of deity our airwaves are filled with grumblings over whether we should say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. We plow each other over with shopping carts and claw our way to the front of lines for the sake of a sale. We spend money that we don’t have and justify – even glorify – gluttonous intakes.

Wait, what? Why?

What are we pondering? Where are we fixing our focus?

That first Christmas was much more than merry. It was sacred… holy… filled with wonder and worship.

Christmas is all about Jesus.

More than having a merry Christmas, I’m stirred to have a meaningful Christmas that takes me back to the manger that led to the cross.

One that mixes the merry with the meditative.

One that pairs the fruit of the Spirit with the fruitcake.

One that lingers with both lively praise and low-bending prayers.

One that harks the herald and helps the hungry.

Yes. I want us all to have a merry Christmas. But more than that I long for us to have a meaningful Christmas. Not one that is consumed with consuming or lost in senseless secondary conversations, but one that is fixed on adoration, celebration, consideration, and awe.

One that reflects on and gives thanks to God for sending Jesus to be our hope.

One that is rich with depth and love and relationship.

One that is filled with the fullness of His grace.

So that’s the challenge. For us to lay aside nonsensical controversies, behaviors, and distractions, and instead fix our hearts on celebrating a merry and meaningful, Messiah-focused Christmas.

Holy Lord, All glory and honor and praise be to Your name! Thank You for invading the darkness of this world and my heart with Your light. Help me to live a life of meaningful, purposed, responsive worship during this Christmas season and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


What’s one thing you can do today that will make this season more meaningful and purposeful?

Read Luke 2, then let’s pray together. Meet us in the comments section to post a prayer of response.

Blessings and Love in Christ,


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Comments 10

  1. Dear Precious Lord,
    Please help me to be mindful of my meaningful worship to You at Christmas and throughout the year. Please help me to focus on what is holy, pleasing and acceptable to you: Psalm 19:14
    In Jesus’s Name I pray,

  2. Thanks, for this, Gwen! I needed a refocusing, reflecting moment. I’m going to be rereading this one over the next couple of weeks.

  3. So well written and especially true. Jesus what. Saviour…what a friend….lifter of the lowly…Holy, Worthy, Mighty, Name above all names…..THIS IS HE whom we get to call Father…..how humbling and how blessed are we.?
    Gwen thank you for that piece…a blessing and I will share it wider with my church friends here in Wiltshire UK

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  4. Thank you, Gwen, for posting this devotion. That’s exactly how I feel. I am reading a book by Ruth Chou Simons and one by Max Lucado, and as I’ve been reading, I’ve come to realize the reason I’ve not found “joy” over the years during Christmas is because I’ve been sucked into the commercialism. Our family “observes” Christmas, but more in an obligatory way than in a worshipful, adoring way even though we’re born-again believers.
    Once again the Spirit spoke to my heart, and I will worship and adore in my heart even if we don’t do it outwardly. God bless you, and have a Merry Christ-filled Christmas.

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      It sure can be such a challenge to see beyond the commercialism of Christmas, Sallye! Thanks for sharing your heart here and for doing life with me!

      Christmas Blessings,

  5. Merry Christmas Gwen! You are so right on with this message. Thank you for always reminding us to do what we all know we should and what God wants us to do. You are an amazing woman. God bless you and your family this wonderful season.

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  6. I was brought up Pentecostal but have been an ordained pastor with the church of the. brethren for many years now. My heart is getting stirred that God has something new He wants me to do. I feel like Abraham being told to go and he had no idea what God had planned for him. I’m scared of the unknown. Help me pray as I trust Him for guidance and direction.

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