I never thought that after being a Christian for 18 years I would still need to remind myself every December of the importance of the Christmas season. Often, I find myself forgetting or not caring about the significance of the holiday because I have been in school for almost 15 weeks and all I can think about is finally being able to enjoy a break without thinking about school.
Once the semester is over, I shift my focus to Christmas related events. I go to parties, bake cookies, decorate the tree, put up lights, and buy presents. My excitement for the season is generally fueled by buying Christmas presents and participating in holiday activities.
It is all too likely that I go the entire Christmas season without really stopping and remembering why we have Christmas. Our society is filled with holiday messages trying to get us to buy into the consumer mindset that it is about Santa and gifts. Companies spend millions of dollars on advertising to sell the concept of holiday cheer being something that can be bought.
As Christians, we should remember that Christmas is not about writing out a list of stuff we want or about listening to Christmas music. It is about taking a moment to celebrate the birth of our Savior, the Messiah who came to earth in the form of a man to take on the sin of the world.
It can be hard for us to keep these truths at the front of our minds. Often, Christ is not be something we actively think about unless we physically choose to do so.
This Christmas, I am choosing to live out the holiday season in a new way by choosing to do Advent. This is a season that begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. I have chosen to participate in the devotional that I read every day to keep me focused on Jesus’s arrival to earth.
I recommend the Advent devotional if you are looking to try something new this Christmas. In this season, I encourage you to participate in Advent and focus on the birth of Jesus.
The chapels on campus these last few weeks have been on the topic of Advent. Speakers gave messages about how in the Old Testament they were waiting for the Savior of the world. Although Jesus was born centuries ago, Christians are still encouraged to practice Advent today because it helps put the focus on God.
Advent is choosing every day to focus on Jesus and His birth. If we don’t we are missing the point of this important day. I encourage any student to take this holiday season seriously and not buy into the fads presented on television. We need to be waiting in expectancy for our Savior’s birth.
What does Jesus want this Christmas? Jesus was a man, and He must have asked God for something while on earth. In reading the Bible, you will find the answer to what Jesus wants. He wants each one of us.
In John 17:14 He prayed, “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, maybe with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
Jesus’ prayer is for you to be with Him and to know Him. I encourage you to remember Jesus’s prayer of his love for you and remember the reason we celebrate this holiday season.