Millions have giving on their minds.
And no wonder!
The reason for this special season makes giving appropriate because we’re celebrating the birth of Christ: God’s great gift to us all.
Some dislike the traditions of Christmas: evergreens, lights everywhere, holiday gatherings, even gift giving; which, to them, adds unwanted pressure to an already over commercialized season.
How can we keep focused on the One who was born in a quiet stable in Bethlehem while enduring the push of noisy shoppers and the pressures of fulfilling family responsibilities at Christmas? How can we compensate for the hustle and bustle of this special season in ways that not only make Christmas meaningful but lasting?
We must take time to be alone with the One whose birthday we celebrate. Unless we seize quiet times with Him, we’ll become victims of the barrenness of this busy season.
Dr. Tony Evans, President of The Urban Alternative and pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas wrote: “Without my personal time with God, I operate in tension, not in peace. I rush. Instead of standing back and watching the Lord, I’m too busy watching me and those around me. That’s why I’m trying to get back to the mindset that without Him, I can do nothing.”
Dorothy Buitendyk, who spent‘ many years caring for people with serious illnesses, expressed her need for quiet times with her Lord as follows:
“Father, too long I have pushed you to the periphery of my life. Somehow the intimacy of our communion got crowded out by my feverish activities. Catching sips of
fellowship with you on the run depleted my inner resources. When pressures mounted, my backlog of your virtues was drained. I need a refill, Lord – a slow recharge, time to bask in your presence – time to soak up until I’m saturated with you.”
Do you need recharging too?
If so, here are a few suggestions for surviving Christmas and making it last:
Start each day during this busy season with an open Bible and an open heart.
Save your day of worship for worship.
Guard the good things taken in during Christmas church services. Don’t lose them all in a mall. Take that special day to reflect on what the birth of Christ is all about.
Recharging requires time and if the meaning of Christmas is to remain it will require times of quietness to compensate for all seasonal distractions.
In her Christmas poem, Take Some Time our daughter, Cheryl, says it well:
Take some time…or this season will overwhelm you,
Just let go of all your worries, all your care.
Find a quiet room and close the door behind you.
Take some time…your Savior’s waiting there.
…Cheryl Campbell Powell