It’s only one week until Christmas! Today, we have Ann Cooke sharing how to keep Christ in Christmas. Ann is brand new with writing blogs and she did a great job. Please encourage her with some welcoming love in the comments below.
So, How do You Keep Christ in Christmas?
by Ann Cooke
Christmastime is here! Decorations are up inside and out. Cards are being sent and school plays are geared up for stellar performances. And let’s not forget the myriad of stores competing for our very last dollar! The day everyone (especially kids) waits for all year is here at last. Everything is in place for Santa to appear and gifts to abound.
All too familiar, right? Sadly, this is all there is to Christmas for many people. The very mention of Christmas fills minds with lists of gifts, food, and fellowship with family and friends. However, some people don’t feel this excited. Many even dread Christmas coming! (Been there a time or two!) The thought of the hustle and bustle, finding the “right gifts,” and spending money that’s not really there is just too much to handle. There has to be something more to Christmas. Why, even the Grinch realized Christmas “doesn’t come from a store”!
Wait! Something is missing in this picture! The very reason we “celebrate” Christmas is often left out—not even invited to join in! There are people who celebrate this time without even knowing why they are celebrating. The “reason” is Jesus Christ—come to save people from their sins—and it is available to all for the asking. This is the reason for rejoicing and celebrating at Christmastime! How can one miss this? Where is the Christ—our Christ—in Christmas? Seems we see our share of St. Nicolas (i.e., Santa), reindeer and elves, which are a product of our culture, but what about the new gift of life offered to all, which is a product of our Savior Jesus Christ, born in this Christmas season?
My friends, as Christians, it is our responsibility to share that gift. Too often we get caught up in the cultural aspect of Christmas and forget about the spiritual aspect, which is far more important. We tend to sing and have pageants about this great event, then neglect to share it outside our church doors. There is more we can do, more we should do! What we have IN us is not meant to be kept in. It’s meant to be shared!
So…how do we keep Christ in Christmas?Here are some thoughts that come to mind:
1) Cultivate your relationship with Christ. Are we too busy to read His word or pray because of the busyness of the season? Wow, that hits home doesn’t it? Don’t let this happen. Keep your time with Him every day. Spend time learning all about the birth of our Savior.
2) Show Him off. Do this through your good deeds in service to others. Start in your family! Now there’s a novel idea! Too often this is overlooked, isn’t it? Don’t forget the Golden Rule applies to family members too! Put aside anger, hurt and disappointments. Replace them with forgiveness, calmness and just plain kindness to all the people you meet as you “hurry and scurry” about.
3) Talk about HIM. Our main thought concerning Christmas should be the message that Hope has come to the world. Salvation has come to the world! The ancient Hebrews were instructed to talk about God when sitting, lying or standing. So shouldn’t we? Don’t just rely on the printed word people will see here and there. “Merry Christmas” is not enough to tell of the Savior who has come. People not only need to see Christ in us, they need to hear of Him too. Sure, we are not always confident in witnessing, but we should be getting better and better with practice. Don’t let that hold you back! Share, especially with children, about Christ being the very reason that “Saint Nick” was so good. Also, when you are kind to others, let them know the reason is because of the change Christ has made in your life. This could be contagious. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if family, neighbors and strangers started glorifying God because of our good works? Let His presence in you be your present to others.
The song, “Do Something” by Matthew West says “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” So true! Why not let the Christmas message of love, hope and deliverance come from the very people who have been delivered? The grace we extend to others comes only through Christ in us!
So, my dear Christian brothers and sisters, let’s do something for ourselves, our families and strangers to show and keep the Christ of Christmas in Christmas!
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Hi ! My name is Ann Cooke. I live in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I was raised in Iowa but our family moved to Florida with my family when I was fifteen. That is where I met my husband Mike and we moved to Spartanburg, South Carolina after we married. I realized my need for Jesus as Savior at age eighteen shortly after our marriage in July of 1977. What a change began in my life! I immediately wanted to tell everyone about Jesus so they could have what I have. That’s where my love for teaching began. I started teaching with a veteran teacher and I have been teaching ever since. I have taught young and old and have led three youth groups with my husband in the churches we have been involved with. I am currently teaching a class of my peers in my church , First Baptist North Spartanburg. I also sing for God’s glory in our church choir which is my 2nd passion.
We have a son who is in the ministry, a great daughter in law and three wonderful grandchildren. And I can’t leave out our sweet Golden Retriever, Max who is a good friend to this dog lover!
My passion for writing began several years ago as I would write down ideas God impressed on me. I love to encourage fellow Christians and my hope is to compile these thoughts into a book of encouragement. I am a contributor to “Joy Beyond, 28 Days to Finding Joy Beyond the Clutter of Life,” by Brenda McGraw. You can contact Ann through her Facebook page here.
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