‘Tis the Season

overloaded

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Hebrews 12:2

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

At this very moment, I am willing to bet that most of you are knee deep in to do lists and may have some random stress pain that keeps reoccurring.  I can’t be alone in this season of overload.  Every time I sit down something is nagging me and pulling me away from my peace.

I hear the dog whining for attention, my son calling “Mommy, I need you!”, my husband asking if I purchased all of the gifts, and the voice in my head saying “If only I had more time.  I am not ready for Christmas.”

As a good father provides truth to their daughter, my Lord says, “You aren’t ready to celebrate what I have done for you?”

I know, yet I sin and accept the world view every year.  

How can I break the cycle of expectations and deadlines to truly celebrate my good father?

Colossians 3: 1-2 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

I’m not sure I have the answer to my question, but I know God does in His word.  

Set your mind on the things above and this will set me free. My mind is a dangerous place that reeks havoc on how I perceive every situation, every plan, and every person.  In one moment I can be sitting peacefully ready to hear God’s word and focus on praising Him, and the next moment I am reprimanding my son who seems to want to eat every candy cane he can find.

What am I truly focused on?  How can I set my mind on things above when the earthy things seem to be in my face?

Luke 10: 38 – 42 

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I can hear Jesus’s words and see the stern yet gentleness of his face as he speaks to Martha.  His words shred my to do list, and sets my mind in the right direction.  Maybe just maybe, when I feel the urge to “do” what I think everyone needs to “feel” the Christmas spirit, I need to sit and read His comforting words “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.”

This time of year we need to  turn away from the world’s view and set our focus on the real reason for Christmas.  

We will be stressed, we will be distracted, we will be drawn away to dread the busyness.  Yet, our Lord and Savior says, “Rest in me, sweet child.”  

Mark 6: 30-32

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them,“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

We need to grab moments of solitude, read His word for comfort, and set our hearts to celebrate His beautiful life of sacrifice. Our Lord is worth taking the time to praise His great name and to pray for His kingdom to reign in a broken world.

This year I’m starting a new tradition of reading Luke 2: 1-21 on Christmas Day, and taking time to acknowledge that because He lived I am free.

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

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