Friday, December 18, 2009

Celebrating the Christ of Christmas

I write today to encourage you to join me this Christmas to strive to see past the commercialism of the season and focus on the Christ, the Savior, who is worthy of all of the attention of this holiday and every day.  We know that "Jesus is the Reason for the Season", but we have to try extra hard - especially this day and age - to keep Him at the center of our festivities and the focus of our celebration.   

A few practical ways I believe may help us do this:
  • Listen to the words of those familiar carols with new ears.  And then try to sing them with a voice proclaiming the glorious truths found in so many of them. . . 
A few examples:

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"

Through Christ, we - wretched sinners - have been reconciled to a Holy God!! 
 Unbelievable!!  So sing it loud!! :)

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Emmanuel - "God with us" - HAS come!!  
We don't have to mourn in slavery to sin anymore!!

Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing...
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love!

Our King of truth and grace DOES rule the world
and WILL MAKE the nations prove His glories...
So please - if you are indeed a child of God - 
do not be one of those who sings
 this song as if you have no joy.

  • Listen to this CD.  This Andrew Peterson Christmas album has become one of our family favorites.  It begins with Old Testament prophecies of the promised Messiah, and the songs express a bit of what it must have been like to be in "lonely exile", longing for a Savior.  And, at last, Messiah came, unglamorous and lowly, to save His people from their sins . . . Behold, the Lamb of God!  

click HERE to order
  • Peruse this book.  Although I have not read this book in it's entirety, I have picked it up on occasion and been blessed by what I have read.  Noel Piper presents practical ways to keep Christ central in all of your celebrations, and not just at Christmastime.  If you were not blessed to have a mother like mine who made it her goal to keep Christ the focus of our family celebrations, or if you are looking for ideas to come up with new traditions, or looking to tweak old ones, I definitely think you should get this book. 

  click HERE to order

So, my prayer for myself and for you is that we celebrate CHRIST this Christmas . . . and nothing less!


Melanie said...

I love all of your suggestions! Behold the Lamb is definitely one of my favorite albums to listen to (throughout the year, not just at Christmas); I'm so glad we went to the concert this week! I haven't read her book, but I love reading Noel Piper's blog; she's posted a lot of excerpts from the book lately and they have really helped me to think about things in a new way! :) Looking forward to seeing you guys as Joseph, Mary, & baby Jesus Sunday night! Love!

David and Katie Kizziah said...

Thanks, Melanie. Claire has done perfectly at the past two rehearsals. Please pray that Sunday night goes as smoothly. :) We love you too!