I've been thinking a lot about the meaning of Christmas, especially considering it's my first since getting saved. It's been a rough holiday season for me and I have honestly had a hard time getting into the "Christmas spirit." Whether it be family drama or the constant busy-ness of being a new mom, I have just felt emotionally drained. I am normally always excited about Christmas. I love putting up the tree, giving gifts, baking, and creating traditions with my little family. However, this year my attention has been diverted and I have been focused on everything else. & I certainly haven't been thinking much about the true reason. This true reason for Christmas would be the birth of Jesus Christ.
Now, the birth of Jesus Christ was always just something you talked about during Christmas when I was growing up. It was sort of an add on along with Santa and whatever else we did. I didn't understand the birth of Jesus at all. Since I have been saved, my perspective on it has totally changed. I learned that I needed a Saviour and accepted His gift of salvation, realizing that the entire point of His being born was so that He could die for me. He lived a perfect, sinless, and blameless life. He had the flesh of a man, but the nature of God. & He suffered the death that I should have been punished with for all of the wrong I have done. He died a criminal's death. If Jesus had never been born to accomplish that very task of dying on the cross, we would all be doomed to eternity in hell.
I have let so many things get in the way of being thankful for all of that. I sit in church and feel the Spirit quenched because I am so worried about everything going on around me. I do my best to pay attention, but I am too focused on everything else to really worship. That's when I hear the still and small voice of God say, Look up! Look at me! Quit worrying about everyone else! (Like the story of Peter walking on water with Jesus - he walked just fine until he looked at all of the storms going on around him and then he fell through.)
Doing so has changed my perspective and attitude. I realize that not only during the Christmas season, but any season, we are to keep our focus on God and what He has done for us. As Christians, we run a race that takes a lot of focus and even the smallest weights can throw us off course. By laying those weights aside, we can truly worship and praise God for all that He's done. & Our focus will be directed in the right place.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.