Tag Archive: Holiday


Christmas Eve: Holiday or Holy Day?

If we focus just on the happy holidays and not realize that it is a holy day we have set ourselves up for some grave disappointments. The success or failure of your celebration depends greatly on things that are out of your control. Did you get the right gift? Don’t know until they open it. Will you get what you really wanted? Won’t know until you open it. Will the relative behave? Will the food turn out? Will I be alone again? And the list of ‘what if’s’ can go on and on. If it is just a holiday then there are so many intangibles that are unpredictable.

Yet, when you focus on Christmas being a “holy day” then you can guarantee that it will be a merry Christmas. When you look at the celebration of the birth of Christ, that God is with us…then there is no other response than to be Merry.

Why do we allow ourselves to get caught up in all the things that suck our time and energy away? What can you do to focus on the coming Holy Day to guarantee that it will be a Merry Christmas?

Leave your comments and questions below or on our Facebook page.

Holiday Survival or Christmas Anticipation?

People this time of year tend to wear themselves out. They attempt to hide it or act like everything is holly jolly, but I can tell when people are tired and worn out and I am sure you can too. You can see it in their eyes and their body language. When I ask people who look tired how they are really doing, they usually respond with the phrase, “Just trying to survive.” With only one week left till Christmas it has become a race to survive. Survive the relatives, parties, travel, decorations, and the list goes on. Are you just trying to survive another Christmas? Have you become so worn down by the circumstances of the season that the only thing you anticipate is the end?   

Anticipation comes in different forms. Two thousand years ago the people of the earth yearned in anticipation for the Messiah. Listen to the Apostle Paul from the book of Romans (8:22-25) as he talks about anticipation.  

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

We live a culture of “now” and waiting is not something that we like to do or believe we have to do. If we want it…then it is only a phone call or click of the mouse away. But let me take you back to a time when it wasn’t always like this. Do you remember the times as a kid that you waited for your Christmas presents? The feeling of excitement and joy mixed all together, as you anticipated what lie behind the wrapping.

I believe that feeling as a child captures the feeling of those long ago who waited for the messiah. The anticipation of Christmas today is really a flashback of the physical experience of the anticipation of 2,000 years ago. The earth groaned for a Messiah… they waited in anticipation. They eagerly longed for the Chosen One. The moment of his arrival was precious.

The holiday has become a burden and “Holy days” are not meant to be a burden but a time of celebration. Maybe this year we can turn our survival mode into a season of anticipation of the joy, the merry, of Christmas. It might be a matter of taking our focus off the things that can’t be controlled and place it on the One who has control; not anticipating the end, but anticipating the coming of the Savior.

Questions to think about and respond to: Are you just trying to survive another Christmas? Have you become so worn down by the circumstances of the season that the only thing you anticipate is the end? What can you do today to turn your thoughts away from survival mode into the anticipation of King Jesus?

Leave your thoughts or comments here or on our Facebook page. Thanks!

Holiday Sale or Christmas Promise?

My Pastoral supervisor in Freeport, IL always had a running joke. Every couple of months he would act very excited carrying a paper with him and wave it in the air while announcing, “JcPenny is having the biggest sale of the year!” Before you think he was one of those crazy JcPenny shoppers you have to know that he was really just being sarcastic. In the town of Freeport, JcPenny was always having sales and they always called it the biggest sale of the year. To their credit maybe every sale was their biggest of that particular year, but many people grew a little skeptical of “big sales” especially the ones that promised savings that had never been seen before.     

I was always taught that if it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is. Stores are not in business to lose money. If they lose on one item you can bet they will make even more on another. Because of some of the sales techniques that we have been exposed to we have become more than a little cynical.

What do we do with the circumstances concerning the birth of Jesus? A virgin that is pregnant, shady shepherds proclaiming his birth, God being born into flesh and blood, and many other parts. It all sounds too good to be true. But this is precisely the difference between a sales pitch and a promise from God.

Have we grown so accustomed to the Christmas season that when we see the Christ-child in the manger every year we ask, is it too good to be true?

Leave your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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