I admit it. I wrote letters to Santa Claus. My sister and I made sure we listed each and every present we wanted and then gave the letters to our parents to mail off to the North Pole. We were duped, but we didn't know (or care)!
Christmas morning, however, was a mixed bag. We loved getting the presents (from Santa, of course!), but going to church and singing all four stanzas for each and every Christmas hymn seemed to last forever.
Now that I am 'older and wiser', I realize that I had my priorities mixed up. The joy that I get from singing Christmas hymns now far outweighs the gifts I receive. I do, of course, still love getting gifts!
This Christmas, I have spent more time thinking about the reason for the season and couldn't find of a better summary than what Max Lucado shared recently:
"How is it that we have managed to take a holiday created to celebrate a God who lovingly took on human flesh in order to rescue us from destruction, and instead have made it all about us? Our presents. Our parties. Our happiness. Our joy.
Self-promotion. Self-preservation. Self-centeredness. It's all about me!
They all tell us it is, don't they? Aren't we urged to look out for number one? Find our place in the sun? Enjoy ourselves? Make our gift preferences known? We thought self-celebration would make us happy.
But what chaos this philosophy creates. What if a symphony orchestra followed such an approach? Imagine an orchestra with an "It's all about me" outlook, trying to play "Joy to the World." Each artist clamoring for self-expression. Tubas blasting nonstop. Percussionists pounding to get attention. The cellist shoving the flutist out of the center-stage chair. The trumpeter standing atop the conductor's stool tooting his horn. Sheet music disregarded. Conductor ignored. What do you have but an endless tune-up session!
Happiness? Are the musicians happy to be in the group? Not at all. Who enjoys contributing to a cacophony?
You don't. We don't. We were not made to live this way. But aren't we guilty of doing just that?
No wonder our homes are so noisy, businesses so stress-filled, shoppers so cutthroat, and harmony so rare. If you think it's all about you, and I think it's all about me, we have no hope for a melody. We've chased so many skinny rabbits that we've missed the fat one: the God-centered life.
Jesus really is the reason for the season. So let's make sure we keep Him as the centerpiece."
I can't agree with Max more. There is no better way to spend Christmas than to enjoy the wonderful gift of Christ and sing praises back to our loving God.
Thank you for faithfully sharing the Christ-centered message that Max shares with all your listeners on a daily basis on "UpWords®." Max has helped remind me that Christmas is all about Him, and not about me!
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