This Christmas season is different because I retired from full-time ministry three months ago. I kind of thought I’d have more time for reading, pondering and celebrating. I have… some. But not as much as I’d like.
Mixed in with this is the amount of people I’ve encountered who feel that Christmas isn’t high on their radar. Some are lonely or grieving and want to get past the holiday quickly.
Others have a ton of stuff on their plate and feel that Christmas must be squeezed into the tiny margins of their schedule.
It seems that no matter where we are in our life journey, we can quickly fall into the trap of filling up of our days with to-do lists and our inner lives with the clutter of despondency, worry, negative self-talk or other unnecessary thinking that eats away at our energy, peace and time.
But this should NOT BE at Christmas!
It’s not about us. Or our schedules. Or our obligations. Or our loneliness. Or our problems. Or our drama.
All that stuff has to step into the background.
Because this season is about making space for Jesus. Intentional space…
…even in the midst of loneliness, grief, problems, or busy schedules with added holiday obligations.
Easy to say, right?
Now… how do we live it?
I’ve come up with a Christmas Manifesto—something to help us make space for Jesus. Think of it as positive self-talk or a proclamation, if you will.
A 2017 Christmas Manifesto
This season is all about Jesus. Not me, not the gifts, not the people, not the celebrations. If I’m not making space for Jesus in my life, then I only have clutter and noise to share with others or experience myself.
1. I will clear off the clutter from my inner communion table to provide a safe place for me to connect with Jesus each day.
2. I choose to celebrate Jesus as the center of each party or gathering I attend even if others don’t “see” Him there.
3. I get to decorate my soul with joy by remembering all that the Lord has done for me.
4. I will shut the door on drama and negative conversations in my mind or with others.
5. I shall remember those who are lonely or grieving with prayer, a visit, a Christmas card, or an invitation to dinner.
6. I choose to put on praise as a garment against the spirit of heaviness because such darkness hides the glory of God in my life.
Now, let’s have a Merry Christmas!
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