Seeing Christmas Clearly

It is Nov. 28th, and I have already heard every Christmas carol that exists.  Amy Grant has sung Breath of Heaven one too many times.  I have listened to the Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker again and again and again and again and . . .  Well, you get the picture.  I have seen Elsa, Snoopy, Ebenezer, Ralphie and a Red Ryder BB Gun, Santa and his merry little band of elves all promoting Christmas.  Occasionally, I see Jesus in a small nativity here or a Christmas picture there.  

See Christmas for what it is.  The birth of our Savior.  The one who would come to sacrifice His life for the forgiveness of our sins.  The birth of our King.  The one who has the last word on everything in the universe and I mean everything!  The birth of our Lord.  The one who cares for our life with great love, mercy, and grace.  When you see Christmas clearly - you can only see Jesus. 

As a pastor, I can tell you that most people never see Christmas for what it is.  The holidays are so loud and noisy that they drown out what is going on.  I want to capitalize on this for a moment and ask you - what is drowning out your life? 

Can you see your God-given purpose clearly or is life to noisy?  Have you become so engaged with the actions of living that you have lost sight of your reason for living?  So, what can you do?  Here are a few suggestions that will help you discover some clarity.

#1 Write down all the "hats" that you wear.  This action should not take more than a minute.  But write down every responsibility that you have.  For example - Parent, Spouse, Employee, Soccer Parent, Writer, Kids Little League Coach and so on.  

#2 Review your list.  I can almost guarantee that there are some things on this list that you do not like. Circle those.  

#3 Now add the word "Christian" in front of every title not circled.  Everyone's definition of "Christian" is different.  So let's work with this.  A Christian is a faithful follower of Jesus' teachings that we read about in the Bible.  Now does this redefine each of your "hats"?  It should apply to some extent.  

#4 Now about those circled "hats."  What do we do with those?  You need to have an honest discussion with yourself and ask, "Why am I doing this?" and "If I didn't do this, what would change?"  You may need to enlist the help of an honest but loving friend to assist you with this one.  But if your heart isn't in it - it should probably go. 

#5 What isn't on the list.  There is something that you want to do but . . . .  There are plenty of things we want to do but never seem to find the time to do them.  That's because of all this "other" noise that demands your attention is stealing the clarity and purpose of your life.  

Jesus knew exactly why He was here on this earth and the purpose of His life.  He wants you to have that same peace in your heart.  Knowing why you are here is so important.  So, don't let the noise drown out your Christmas and don't let it drown out the purpose of your life either. 

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