Friday, December 18, 2009

A Christmas Tale of Two Sisters - Part 3

Be sure to read parts one and two before continuing on with today’s post.

Jesus adds that “the good part,” which is spending time with Him, “shall not be taken away.” Think about the foolishness. Each Christmas we put all of our attention on all of the preparations. But when it’s over, it’s over. The wadded up wrapping paper goes in the trash. The tree goes back in the box. The decorations go back in the attic. The family returns to their homes. And at least half of the gifts that were opened are never used or worn. But when the holidays are over and the after Christmas sales have passed, Jesus is still there. He is the one who said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

So what can we learn from this tale of two sisters to help us avoid a Christmas crash? Let me give you three principles that can help us.

First, loosen up. In order to genuinely have a peaceful Christmas, you must be willing to loosen up your focus on all of the preparations and festivities. Not all of the decorations may get put up. Not all of the baked good may get made. You may not even make it to all of the parties and get-togethers that you’re invited to attend. There may not be 25 side dishes on the table for Christmas dinner. Let me just say it – That’s just fine. Loosen up. Don’t be a Martha this Christmas. Don’t invite Jesus into the celebration only to neglect Him because of all of the preparations you think you need to accomplish.

Second, lighten up. In order to genuinely have a peaceful Christmas you must be willing to lighten up by not allowing your anxiety to steal the joy of others. Martha’s focus on all of the preparations led her down the path of self-pity and before long she was trying to put guilt trips on everyone else. Don’t let that happen to you. Don’t make everyone else miserable because you are so anxious about everything that you think needs done.

And finally, listen up. In order to genuinely have a peaceful Christmas, you must make the time daily to sit at the feet of Jesus, worshipping and listening. Don’t let your busy schedule keep you from sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening. Christmas is such a wonderful time to listen. In fact, why don’t you start right now? Push your “to do” list to the side, sit down, and read these Christmas words. Don’t just read them. Listen to them. I mean, really listen. Listen as if you were hearing them for the very first time:

O holy night. The starts are brightly shining.
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till he appeared and the soul felt His worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.
For yonder breaks a new and glorious day.
Fall on your knees. O hear the angel’s voices.
O night divine! O night when Christ was born!

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