FANNING YOUR CHRISTMAS FIRE
By Carolyn Dale Newell
And Mary said:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.
Luke 1:46-49 NKJV
A believer’s desire during Christmas is to keep Christ at the center, but by December 25th, I have fallen short. Overloaded schedules cause us to struggle every day for quiet time with God, and now, there is Christmas. We squeeze in shopping, dinners, decorating, and baking into an already busy routine.
Satan’s secularization of Christmas keeps us from the real meaning of Christmas. That is always his plan. Keep Christ followers preoccupied when we celebrate the birth of the one who died for us.
Familiarity creates indifference. Sadly, the birth of Christ fails to incite the enthusiasm it once did. Holiday activities weary us until our spiritual fire has almost gone out. We need to stoke the embers and stir up the flames. We need to get on fire for Jesus again.
Mary mastered worship. First, she magnified God with her song of praise. As a visually impaired person, I know all about magnification. It enlarges. It makes things visible. It enhances clarity and focus.
During the brightest time of the year, believers must magnify Jesus, but how?
Pride silences praise. Mary did not esteem herself highly because she carried the Messiah. She referred to herself as a lowly servant. This is humility, the place where all worship begins.
Mary remembered what God had done throughout history. She rehearsed His goodness. Thinking back over the past year or reading a Psalm can jog our memories which can erupt into worship. When we magnify Christ, we decrease, and He increases.
We can only accomplish a Christ-centered Christmas through discipline. Amidst the crowded malls and twinkling lights, we have to carve out time for Jesus.
The true spirit of Christmas is worship. We see this repeated by the shepherds, the wise men, Simeon, and Anna. Even Elizabeth and her unborn child shouted and leaped with praise when Mary greeted her cousin.
How can we stir up our SPIRITUAL flames for Christmas? How can we magnify Jesus? Here are a few ideas listed below.
I challenge you to incorporate something different that keeps Christmas centered around Christ this holy season.
Lord Jesus, thank You for leaving the glories of heaven to be born in a barn. Help us learn to magnify Your name NOW AND FOREVER. Amen.
Read Luke 1:46-55.
HIKING THE TRAIL
Here are some ideas to help stir up those Christmas flames in a busy world:
- Let each ornament act as a reminder of someone to pray for or a reason to praise Jesus
- Allow yourself to stop a tradition, especially those causing unwanted pounds
- Say no to one dinner or play
- Get up an hour earlier to have time with Christ
- listen to Christ-centered Christmas music and when things become stressful, stop and take a break…with Christ
Leave your suggestions for others in the comments!
Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.