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An Intentional Christmas – Part 3

I hope you enjoyed the first two segments of this series, An Intentional Christmas, by Jenny Nice & Sarah Smith. If you missed them, they are definitely worth the read. Lovely and inspiring. You can find them here and here.

The last piece I want to share with you today was written by my friend Jenny Imhoff. Jenny has a magical way of stirring up the gospel for me and serving it up exactly the way I need it. I hope you find some comfort in her words about what we so often miss this time of year – the peace found in the gospel’s true meaning of Christmas.

One of my favorite family traditions at Christmas happens on Christmas Eve. Before opening our one present that we’re allowed that evening, and amidst the eggnog and laughter and sparkling lights, we all gather around the Christmas tree to listen as my dad reads the Christmas story from the gospels of Matthew and Luke.

We stop and quiet ourselves for a few moments to remember the real meaning of Christmas.……

Christmas means God with us

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means God with us).”    Matthew 1:23

Jesus left the glory and perfection of heaven to enter a dark sinful world in the most innocent way….as an infant. How God fit all of His power and grace into the limitations of a tiny baby is a mystery. Why did He do it? He wanted to be with us.

Christmas means Good News

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’”    Luke 2:8-11

What a birth announcement! A Savior has been born! The Great Shepherd was announced to the lowly shepherds (at least the ones who got stuck with night watch duty). This is not an announcement to take for granted. We cannot be saved from death without Jesus.  The good news of Jesus brings us joy because we have no way to pay for our sin without his sacrifice. That is the greatest gift.

Christmas means Worship

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked ‘Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews?  We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’”    Matthew 2:1-2

 Just as the wise men interrupted their lives to follow the star, during Christmas we stop our busy lives and take time to enjoy the lights, the tree, the gifts…. Paying special attention is a form of worship. We don’t worship the lighted tree. We worship the Light who died on a tree. We don’t worship the gifts, but the One who is the Gift. We worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, our King.

It is because He was born that He could die. It is because He died that we can live. It is because He rose again that we can be with Him in heaven eternally.

We intentionally carve out time to adore the beauty of all that we’ve been given this season. Maybe we love this time of year because it brings families closer. But regardless of our traditions, taking time to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas definitely brings God closer.

Thank you Jenny, Sarah and Jenny for the heartfelt contributions you all made.

Have a beautiful weekend everyone!

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