What’s killing Christmas for you?
I've been listening and observing a lot lately and I've heard so many people say they're struggling to enjoy what is supposed to be "the best time of the year". They're tangled up in the busyness of the season, the stress of gift-buying and the difficulty of navigating strained family relationships during the holidays. I can completely understand!
I recently listened to a convicting podcast by Pete Scazzero called "The 4 Christmas Killers". Though he was speaking mainly to church leaders, I felt there was great truth to share for anyone. He pointed out that Christmas can be a low point spiritually for many who are working hard to make it a meaningful and fruitful time - that in that process we lose "the wonder and beauty of celebrating God's coming in Jesus of Nazareth."
The four Christmas killers he identified (I'm sure there are others) were:
Rushing - "The pressure of too much to do, in too little time, causes us to push a button into an ‘autopilot’ spirituality. We end up speaking of profound spiritual realities but our hearts slowly shrink."
Living in anxiety - Anxiety keeps us busy, and busyness keeps us anxious. We try hard to do things perfectly. We worry over relationships.
Doing too much - Packing our days (and nights) full of events and activities. Pushing past our God-given limits. It makes us so weary.
Forgetting our greatest gift is who we are, not what we do - "Our number one work is to remain deeply connected with the Father, with ourselves, and with those closest to us." The craziness of the season can cause us to not be truly present with the Lord and those we love.
So what can we do about these things that threaten to ruin the season? Slow down! Make time to be alone and pray. Relax! Ask God to help us focus on what's most important and eliminate what isn't. Remember to be present with the Lord and those around us.
I don't know about you, but I needed to hear all of this!
I pray that God will help us to center our hearts on him as Christmas week approaches, and that the wonder of Christ's coming will truly fill us with awe and joy!
Join us this Sunday as we worship Jesus as our Lord and Savior!