What Christmas Means to Me
BY JACQUELINE WILLIAMS
When I asked my four-year-old what Christmas meant to him, he said, “Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus!” He’s certainly starting to get the idea! To me, Christmas means remembering and celebrating that God is faithful to fulfill His promises in unexpected, perfect ways. I like that Christmas comes at the end of our calendar year. I anticipate it all year long, and it really is my favorite time of year. The anticipation makes me think of the time between the Israelites looking for the coming Messiah and Christ’s actual coming. I think of the eternal relief Jesus ushered into the world with His birth, life, death, and resurrection. God is faithful indeed! This year, I have been spending time thinking about the timeline of Christ’s coming. From Genesis to Revelation, I am in awe of God’s plan, faithfulness, and timing.
From Genesis to Revelation, I am in awe of God’s plan, faithfulness, and timing.
While I love everything that comes with this time of year (lights, music, hot cocoa, bows, gifts, the smell of pine, and so much more), I don’t want to unintentionally waste the Christmas season by only getting excited over things that don’t last rather than investing more in my relationship with Him. It’s pretty easy for me to know how much I thought of Jesus (or not) during the season based on the feeling I get after Christmas is over. I will always bemoan the taking down of Christmas decorations (they are just so cozy and festive), but when I focus on Christ and make Him preeminent throughout the season, only then do I feel grateful and refreshed after Christmas! When I focus on traditions or trying to make things seem picture perfect, I feel excited but exhausted before the season even starts, and somewhat empty and dissatisfied when it’s over.
Of course, celebrating is part of remembering! But I find it so easy to get caught up in the baking, gifting, and decorating around this time that I have to remind myself every year to focus more on Christ. To rein in my easily distracted heart, I decided to work through an advent study this year: Fulfilled by Maggie Combs from Well-Watered Women. I am only a few days into the study about Jesus as our perfect Prophet, Priest, and King, but it is already helping me to savor Him more than the sights, smells, and sounds and to reconsider how I spend my time during this busy season. In one of the early studies, she challenged the reader to find language of Christ fulfilling all three of these offices in just Hebrews 1:2-4, and my heart was in awe of Christ all over again! She explains:
He is our perfect Prophet, the Word with us Who speaks a better Word to us. He is our servant King, ruling over us with righteousness and rescuing us from the world, our accuser, and our own sin. He is our great High Priest, who purifies us to provide a path into God’s presence. (84)
When I think about Jesus’ first breaths as a baby, God in the flesh, to His final breaths on the Cross, I take a deep sigh of relief during Christmas that we are living between the already of Christ’s first coming and the not yet of His next, but anticipating it as believers. He will surely be faithful to His promises once again when He comes again! I am amazed and grateful that Christ’s first coming wasn’t like His second will be (even though that’s more of what the Israelites were expecting, and what I would have expected). We get to choose to be part of His kingdom now and forevermore.
We get to choose to be part of His kingdom now and forevermore.
I hope we can all share what we are cherishing anew or learning about Jesus with each other during Christmas this year!
Want to know more? We want to hear from you! Contact Us