The Christmas season provides a wonderful opportunity to take part in meaningful family traditions. Trimming the tree, wrapping the presents, and gathering with family are always on the top of my list. There is one more tradition that is meaningful to me. This tradition involves keeping Jesus at the heart of the Christmas season.
Let me take you back to when I was a child. I grew up in small-town Arkansas. My family was involved in the community, and we loved our church. I was the kid who wanted to go to church on Sunday, and I soaked up every bit of it.
I vividly remember one Christmas when my Sunday school teacher asked all the kids to bring a recent picture of themselves. We gathered around small tables, and our teacher told us we would make a gift for Jesus since Christmas is His birthday. The gift involved taking a box, placing the picture inside the box, and then neatly wrapping the box.
Once the box was just right, I attached a label. My label read--- “TO: Jesus, FROM: Andrea.” I remember going home after church and placing the box under the tree. It was such a simple act, but it made a big impression on me. For several years, I placed the box under our family Christmas tree and voiced a prayer, “Lord, help me to remember to give myself to You.” Even as a child who had already placed my faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of my sins, I knew a profound truth was wrapped up inside that simple box. Jesus loved me, and I daily had the chance to love Him and focus on Him.
As we enter the Christmas Season, we have the opportunity to remember and celebrate what took place on the first Christmas day. Jesus was born, and the world was forever changed. Luke 2:10-11 records the birth announcement of Jesus. The angels declared, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (NIV)
Think about how often we forget the truth that Jesus is Lord because of the busyness of life and the ups and downs of our circumstances. This Christmas, I wonder what it would mean to us if we slipped away to a quiet place and spent time praying and asking the Lord to show us simple ways to celebrate the truth that He is Lord. Maybe it is trusting Him with an unknown situation or taking the step of faith He is continually placing in front of us. Whatever it is, we can celebrate the meaning of Christmas by loving Jesus and placing our focus on Him in meaningful ways.
When my kids were little, I remember gathering them around the kitchen table and helping them wrap a picture of themselves in a box and then placing that box under our family Christmas tree. A simple picture, in a box, under the tree carries meaning and impact for my family. I pray that the idea and truth behind it will also impact you and your family. Today, let’s celebrate the truth that Jesus is Lord!