Therefore…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…
The other day, I came across my older son’s letters to Santa. No, these letters were not from numerous years. These letters, in draft form, were all written the same year. He had his list of things he wanted, and he was trying to clarify those wishes that were most important to him. Granted, his list was not long or unreasonable, but his childlike focus was on what he might receive for Christmas. He was trying to sort through his list and prioritize the items in order to receive the one thing most important to him. That year it was a toy called “Spectracolor”, and it was quickly abandoned upon receipt.
We make lists. We make shopping lists, lists of things to do, lists of what we need to improve upon. New Year’s resolutions, anyone? All these lists crowd into our minds and our lives until we have a difficult time knowing which list is more important than the other and which should command our time, attention, and resources. During the Christmas season, I am guilty of feeling the pressure to meet worldly demands I put upon myself. My holiday list includes things like decorating, shopping, wrapping, mailing, cooking, baking, cleaning, entertaining, volunteering… but wait! Where on that list would I place dwelling in the Holy Spirit, worshiping Jesus, spending time in the Word?
In the battle for our time and attention, we sometimes struggle to find time for those things that really matter the most. Just as my son experienced, the things of this world are temporary and fleeting. To center our thoughts and actions on Jesus gives us the gift of joy and contentment in knowing we are eternally loved, loved so much that Jesus came to be born into this sinful world, to live in a way to teach us how to love, and to sacrifice Himself on the cross for us. At Christmas especially, it is so important for us to place Jesus as the number one item on all of our lists. Don’t just carve out time for Jesus. Make Him your priority. If, as my son did, it takes a few tries to set your priorities straight, just keep trying.
Take captive every thought, focus your heart, and lead with Jesus in the spotlight. After all, He is the reason we celebrate. Rejoice!
Dear Lord, please guide my priorities and my commitments during this busy time of year. I praise Your Holy name, and I pray for You to help me remember to place my time with You above all the things vying for my attention. Thank You for your most perfect gift of Jesus. Thank You for Your loving grace. Help me glorify You by the way I rejoice in Your name this Christmas season. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Hebrews 3: 1
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.