Prayer and Reflections

Room for Him

For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
-Luke 2:11

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” is a line from an old song that resonates with many who grew up in a more relaxed culture. Sadly, nowadays, it seems to be the busiest time of the year. Traditions and other activities, while good, have taken priority over worship and reflecting on the One for whom this celebration originated. Unless we take steps to prioritize and discipline ourselves, we will miss the wonder and beauty of it all.

As I get older (and slower), my efforts to simplify the Christmas season have intensified, yet that in itself is a challenge! Some tips I have found helpful:

* Prioritize your schedule to spend time each day pondering truths from God’s Word and seeking His presence, guidance, and strength. Seeking Him first will empower and equip you to make the wisest use of your remaining time.

*Purchase gifts, cards, and other items you know you will need early. Last-minute stress is a certain way to kill the Christmas spirit. Consider gifts that are less lavish and more meaningful in expressing love and friendship to others.

*Find someone less fortunate to bless during the Christmas season. If you do not have access to anyone needy, choose a Christian organization that does. Samaritan’s Purse and other organizations like it offer catalogs with gifts you can purchase in their ongoing ministries. You can also give in memory or in honor of someone special. Remember, the purpose of giving is to share the love of Christ. Pray for the recipients to be moved by this act of love through the Holy Spirit’s drawing power and take comfort in knowing you have played a part in reaching others for Him.

*If you are a Christian, change your expectations from what you will receive to worship for the gift you have already received—your salvation. Choose contentment and pray for those who have not received this gift.

*Play Christmas music while attending to routine activities and be uplifted during these times.

* Say ‘no’ to some events to avoid overload. While many activities may be good—the best way to celebrate is to make room for Him and find peace and joy in His presence that you, in turn, can share with others.

*Thank Him at the end of each day for the blessings you have received and for His faithful love. 

"And she (Mary) brought forth her firstborn Son, and…. laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7

How often in our daily walk
Does His Spirit come to speak,
To give us wisdom, to nurture us,
To strengthen where we are weak.

How often in our busyness
Are we tempted to fear and gloom,
As we fail to heed His beckoning,
And in essence say, “no room.”

No room to hear His gentle voice
To experience His comfort sweet;
No room to pause, receive His love
Sit devotedly at His feet,

And seek to grow in knowledge
Of His greater will and ways,
And with a heart of gratitude 
Offer words of worship and praise.

So may we in this holy season
Remember why He came to earth’
Take time to ponder who He is
Discover anew His awesome birth,

And then go out in confidence
In joyful, exuberant praise
Sharing with other souls in need
The joy and hope that fills our days.

From Reflections of Christmas © 2013, Doris Haver Rouse. 

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