More Than a Merry Christmas

Gwen Smith Blog, Christmas, Priorities, Worship 19 Comments

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. (Luke 2:19, ESV)

On the night that 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 on 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.

That first Christmas was 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 focus 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.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Read Luke 2.

Pause for a moment of personal reflection. What’s one thing you can do today that will make this season more meaningful and purposed? Post your one-thing answer in the comments section of my blog or send it to me as a DM on Instagram, and let’s discuss some fresh ideas as a community of sisters today.

Cannot WAIT to hear from you guys!

Christmas blessings,

GWEN

 

SPECIAL OFFER: If this message is where you are and you need more practical help moving beyond the common to the holy, I’m offering a 20% OFF discount on my latest book, I Want It ALL. (It has a Bible Study guide right in the back!)

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It can be a struggle to find joy in a holiday season full of hustle and bustle!
Victoria Duerstock joins me for episode #76  of GRACEOLOGIE to talk about preparing both your heart and home for Christmas.

LISTEN NOW!

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Comments 19

  1. I will read the meaningful, holy Christmas story from Luke on Christmas Day so those who have hearts of stone will hear about the One that came to give them a heart of flesh to worship Him, the babe who was born to die.

  2. Today, 23rd, I have my grandson for a few hours to myself. I had been planning baking, Santa trip and last minute errands. Now, those may or may not get done. We will spend time – just he and I- examining the nativity scene and imaging the glory and awe , the peace and beauty and the heart of a new mama as she realizes she is holding the son of God. What Merry Blesssed Christmas.

  3. I am planning to visit two ladies from our church who are in a nursing facility over the holidays. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to be away from home at such a wonderful time of the year (and know that you’ll be there for several more weeks).
    I am looking forward to having my own family including five grandkids for Christmas and knowing others won’t be able to have that makes me especially grateful for the Lord’s gracious gift of family and friends this season.

  4. I will not get consumed with projects around the house during my time off. I will focus on doing less and being more to my family!! 😉

  5. I come from a divorced family 2xs, and we have a few more Christmas’s than most. But the best part is visiting with them which we have been doing forever now. Super excited! But I decided I’m making my Granny’s family famous Christmas cookies in her memory,and to also keep her memory alive in us. These were the most favorite things us kids looked forward to every Christmas. My sister had always made them and she had a baby 2 years ago and has been too busy. So it’s my turn now. Can’t wait to see my first attempt at them. I want to make my Granny proud. Miss you dearly, Granny!

  6. we are being our family together this Christmas, for the first time in 4 years we will all be together. Praying the joy, laughter, and love shines through as we spend our week together.

  7. I am going to meet my second grandchild today! I will focus on the miracle of birth and will reflect on the ultimate miracle, the birth of our Lord and Savior. As I sit here awake and waiting further news I will pray about all my gifts and blessings (and those gifts are not wrapped under the tree).

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      1. I will drive to spend time with family and prayerfully enjoy each other. Life is so short and each day with family should be cherished!

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