Christmas

It’s More Than a Season….

December 1, 2017
My hopes and dreams for this Christmas season

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

~ Isaiah 7:14

The whispers of it started back in Genesis. God was sending a Messiah. Someone who could save the people of the world; redeem them.

Christmas was coming. No one really knew how or when, but the prophesies were clear that a Messiah was promised. He would come from Bethlehem, from the tribe of Judah, and He would save God’s people.

The Jews knew the Christ was coming, none of them doubted. The prophets had been silent nearly four hundred years, but they held on to their hope. Christmas was coming.

With each passing year, their hopes grew. Surely God would send their mighty rescuer soon. Like Moses delivered them from the hand of the Pharaoh, the Christ would help them overthrow the Roman Empire. Their time was coming. Christmas was coming.

And Christmas did come. It was born in a manger while the world slept. One thing was clear, this nobody from Nazareth wasn’t the mighty prince they were expecting. Had they forgotten that Moses was a nobody, too? Maybe. Perhaps it was just that their expectations didn’t line up with God’s plan.

How often do we find ourselves there? Missing the joy of the holiday season because we are stressing over details that don’t really matter? Do you ever find Christmas getting lost in all the hustle and bustle? I do.

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This ChristmasWhat does your heart hope for this Christmas season?

God’s chosen people, who were waiting expectantly for the Messiah, missed His birth because they were too set in their ways. I don’t want that to be me this Christmas. Christmas is coming, whether we are ready or not, and this year, I want to get excited about Jesus.

I want this Christmas to be more than a season, more than another burden on my already full schedule. I want to stand in awe at God’s promise of a Savior; to be filled with wonder at the person of Christ—God became man to dwell among us.

This Christmas I want to have an overwhelmed soul, not an overwhelming itinerary. I want to have room in my Christmas for Jesus to move; to sit in His presence and praise His name. God sent us Jesus, and that’s something worth celebrating.

 

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Might God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

~ Isaiah 9:6

What About You?

Is there something that is preventing you from enjoying the Christmas season? So often we dread the holiday season because of all the items it adds to our already full schedules. Are you dreading the Christmas season, or looking forward to Christmas with joyful anticipation?

What’s one step you can take to intentionally keep your focus on Jesus this Christmas season? Is there something you can do to help you stress less or enjoy this Christmas more?

Share your answers in the comments below!


The above is an edited excerpt from my new devotional, Christmas is Coming. Sign up below to get these devotions in your email each weekday morning between now and Christmas.

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16 Comments

  • Reply Erin December 5, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    “God’s chosen people, who were waiting expectantly for the Messiah, missed His birth because they were too set in their ways.” God, help me not to be so set in my ways that I miss out on the entire reason for this season.

  • Reply Julie December 5, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    “I want this Christmas to be more than a season, more than another burden on my already full schedule. I want to stand in awe at God’s promise of a Savior; to be filled with wonder at the person of Christ—God became man to dwell among us.”
    I want this Heather, thank you for writing what my heart wants so desperately!

    • Reply Heather Hart December 6, 2017 at 7:53 am

      It’s so wonderful to have sisters in Christ whose hearts long for the same thing. Thanks for stopping in, Julie.
      Heather Hart recently posted…Christmas is ComingMy Profile

  • Reply Keisha Russell December 5, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    This is a perfect way to get focused for this Christmas season. This is what really spoke to me, “I want to have room in my Christmas for Jesus to move; to sit in His presence and praise His name.” This is going to be my focus!

  • Reply Lori December 5, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I was just reading in my Halley’s Bible Handbook about how the Wise men knew the star was something special because they were familiar with the Old Testament prophecies. I was saddened when it clicked that the people Jesus came to save weren’t even watching for Him but yet these men knew.

    • Reply Heather Hart December 6, 2017 at 7:59 am

      It was a different time back then, Lori. The average person didn’t have their own copy of the Scriptures. They relied on the Pharisees, and the Pharisees were all about the power. It is sad. They wanted a mighty rescuer, and missed the baby in the manger. But we can do the exact same thing if we aren’t careful. There are so many Christians who start hate groups in the name of God, even now. We still miss Jesus. Even if we aren’t extreme, I’ve been known to miss a moment. Miss an opportunity. To totally blow it. It’s part of being human, and it’s why Jesus came. He knew we needed a Savior. He knew we wouldn’t get it. He knew they would miss it. But still He came. God is so good.
      Heather Hart recently posted…Christmas is ComingMy Profile

  • Reply Melissa December 5, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    I love your line, “I want to have an overwhelmed soul not an overwhelmed itinerary.” Yes! I want this, too! I don’t want to let the growing to-do list to overtake my focus on Jesus!

  • Reply Crystal Smith December 5, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    To keep the focus on Jesus we tell the Christmas Story throughout the holiday and we remind the kids daily of the reason for the season.

    • Reply Heather Hart December 6, 2017 at 8:04 am

      We did that when our kids were little, and I am so thankful that they know the reason for the season. Our holiday season is still filled with Jesus, but it’s less intentional teaching and more just natural flow because they are older and they just know. Thanks for bringing that up, Crystal. I hadn’t really stopped to realize that transition yet, but it’s there. I hope it encourages you as much as it did me.
      Heather Hart recently posted…3 Easy Ways to Enjoy Your Family Time This ChristmasMy Profile

  • Reply Aly December 5, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    I am so excited that Christmas is coming. I have four littles and one way we try to keep our focus on the true meaning of Christmas is by doing an advent calendar. Each morning we have a little piece of chocolate and share something that make Jesus so special (no repeats) .

  • Reply Katie Braswell December 6, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Wow! What an attitude check! It’s so important to remember those who have come before us and their anticipation for the Holy Child. Unfortunately, a lot of this anticipation and reverence has been lost in this commercialized season. Because of this, our home has simplified by reading the Bible for Advent, withdrawn from some worldly “traditions”, refocussed by spending time together. Jesus is our reason, our Savior, our focus! <3
    Katie Braswell recently posted…Return: Finding Rest in the RestlessMy Profile

  • Reply Kristi December 6, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    I definitely don’t want to be so set in my ways that I miss what Christ has in store and miss him in it all.

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