How to Keep Christmas Real

It’s that time of year. When the busyness of the season threatens the heart of Christmas, when we are so caught up in the what that we neglect the who and our adversary twiddles his fingers in glee.

As Facebook trumpets the countdown of shopping days, as Pinterest overflows with exquisitely decorated homes, as Instagram brags of polished, perfect families, we are easily sucked into trying to portray a flawless Social Media Christmas.

Our children’s smiles are photoshopped over the wails. We post pictures of artfully decorated cookies and delete the pictures of dozens burnt or deemed unworthy of sharing. We slave over the tree, unable to let our children assist because they don’t understand each branch need 3 ornaments, working from the largest out to the smallest ornament. We are consumed with portraying the perfect Christmas image, and we make an idol of the holiday.

Idolatry is coveting anything other than God.

If any of this rings true in your heart, it’s time to reclaim Christmas. It’s time to repent, fix our mind on Christ, and set our hearts on Him.

Hear, Oh LORD, my plea: listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer – letting it rise from lips free of deceit.

 Examine me from the inside out and make my heart right with You. 
May my steps hold to Your path and may my feet not slip as I strive to honour You this Christmas.
I call on You, Oh God, for You will answer me, give ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show the wonder of Your great love. You save by your right hand those who take refuge in You.

Watch over me, hide me in the shadow of your wings, protect me from the wicked who bombard me with wrong images of Christmas, protect me from the mortal enemy who tries to remove from me the joy of Jesus, protect me from my own sinful heart that has made this holiday an idol.

Unrepentant hearts are calloused. Unrepentant mouths speak with arrogance. The enemy tracks me down and surrounds me with unrealistic expectations. He throws me to the ground in busyness. Rise up, Oh Lord, as I repent. Confront my foes, rescue me from the external wickedness and the wickedness within.

You will still my hunger. You give me plenty. I will seek Your face this Holiday. When my family awakes on Christmas morning, may we be satisfied with You. You are the gift. You are my Lord. Help me reclaim this Christmas for You.

*from the archives

A Christmas Prayer

You abound in steadfast love. You listen to my pleas. You answer. Always.

You are great. You do wondrous things. You alone are God. My God.

You did a wondrous thing when you came to earth as a baby. You did a wondrous thing when you died in my place. You did a wondrous thing when you called an unworthy sinner like me by name. Thank you for grace.

Everything I have, all that I am, all whom I love are because of Your grace.

That I know You at all is an act of Your grace.

You are merciful and generous. I humbly ask for neither poverty nor riches but that I find joy in your presence. Pure Joy.

I want a thirst for You only quenched by time spent with You. I want to always want more, to know You more, to love You more.

Happy Birthday my Saviour. Please accept the only gift I have to give. My love.