Thursday, November 29, 2012

Keeping Christmas in Perspective

This post is a repeat from last year, but I thought it was an appropriate one to begin the holiday season.

“Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Thy ways: (Psalm 119:37 NASV).

As much as I rejoice in the meaning of Christmas, I also have a hard time with what is has become in our society. I can feel exhausted and even offended by the constant barrage of materialistic glitz and glitter of worldly commercialism.  On the other hand, I myself am guilty of being lured into that mindset as I prepare for the holiday.  I can become discontent over what I can’t or shouldn’t do or buy for others.  Food and decorations can be a trial rather than an enjoyment.  I feel overwhelmed by the magazine covers showing the perfectly decorated Christmas tree and holiday table settings.  New recipes make festive foods look so simple, yet I know otherwise.

Although all of these things can be good and enjoyable aspects of the holiday season if kept in perspective, it is especially difficult for me when all things must revolve around my pain and energy level.  I may end up feeling depressed, tense, and discouraged rather than anticipating the celebration of Christ’s birth.

During the holidays more than ever I need God’s Word to revive me and keep my eyes and heart focused on eternal things rather than worldly ones.  Satan has a way of turning even the good things into temptations and struggles.  I need to prepare and guard myself against these attacks.  Christ’s birth can and will be celebrated with or without the glitter.  Whether I am in plenty or in want financially or physically  this holiday season, my focus should be on knowing that because of the gift of Jesus, “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (I Corinthians 2:9).  And amidst the pulls of commercialism and pain, God is giving me gifts even now if I keep my eyes on Him.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, during this blessed season of celebrating Your birth, help me to put aside the vanities of the world and to seek You above all else.  As I do, You revive my heart (Psalm 69:33 NAS) bringing me true peace and joy. Amen.


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