People are counting down the final days until Christmas. Checking off the gift lists and wrapping packages. The aroma of cookies and candy waft from kitchens across the globe. Christmas trees are already aglow and stockings line up the mantles. Christmastime brings lots of preparations. Are we preparing a place for Christ?
Saint Nicholas might be glad to know people want to follow his example of generosity. However, sadness would fill his heart if he knew the extent and motivation behind some gift-giving today. Saint Nicholas secretly gave gifts long ago because of his humble spirit. His heart and focus belonged to God.
As final preparations are made let’s ask God what He would like for Christmas. Include these things on your calendar and “to do” list. Talk with your family and friends and decide ways you can prepare a place for Christ this week.
v Keep a manger in front of your tree to draw focus on Christ rather than the gifts.
v Set up a Nativity scene. Have family members read from the Bible, or tell what they know about each piece.
v Encourage children to take a break from the words, “I want…” and think about ways to serve others.
v Participate in church activities. Check your local paper for events such as a live nativity scene and Christ-centered Christmas programs.
v Share baked goods with those less fortunate. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Sing Christmas carols.
v Buy gifts for those in need. Try including a gift that shares the good news and hope of Jesus Christ.
v Invite someone, who does not have a family, over for a meal.
v Include the real meaning of Christmas in your outdoor decorations for others to see.
v Donate to a charity that spreads the gospel such as Samaritan’s Purse and Compassion International.
v Carve out time each night for a special family devotion. There are many great Christmas devotion books to choose from or you can read from the Bible.
God loved us so much he sent Jesus. He came to make a way for us to live forever. He is preparing a place for us when we leave this earth. Until then, shouldn’t we prepare a place for him here?
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3
What about you? How are you keeping Jesus in your Christmas preparations, in your life, and in your heart?