In most Christian churches, the four-week period leading up to Christmas is observed as Advent, a time of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s birth. Believers use these weeks to review the historical events leading up to Christ’s incarnation and to center our thoughts on Him.
From the hysterical scavenger hunt of Black Friday on, the glut of second rate Santa-themed entertainment and sentimental traditions makes it increasingly difficult to put Christ in the center of our thoughts and activities.
The renowned theologian, Oswald Chambers, had a way of cutting through distractions and coming straight to the point with his messages to Christians. In his daily devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, the reading for November 27 gives us the recipe for observing a meaningful Christmas in our times.
He tells us that if we want the spiritual power to avoid being caught up in the hype of the hectic Happy Holidays mentality, the answer is to become consecrated.
We must never allow anything to interfere with the consecration of our spiritual power. Consecration (being dedicated to God’s service) is our part; sanctification (being set apart from sin and being made holy) is God’s part. We must make a deliberate determination to be interested only in what God is interested. The way to make that determination, when faced with a perplexing problem, is to ask yourself, “Is this the kind of thing in which Jesus Christ is interested, or is it something in which the spirit that is diametrically opposed to Jesus is interested?”My Utmost for His Highest
If we apply this test to our own Advent and Christmas activities it may become clear just where we need to expend our energies and which things are better avoided.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16