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Christmas Choices

Tis’ the season to be …stressed. That IS how the song goes, right? There is no denying that the hustle and bustle drives us all a little crazy, and yet we wish this season was marked with peace. However, we spend most of our time, money, and energy on Christmas lights, shopping, and just rushing—we simply forget the (pardon the probably overused but incredibly appropriate cliché) “reason for the season”: Jesus.

This year seems a little different. Families are choosing to stay apart, and the hustle and bustle of shopping is done online while drinking hot chocolate on the couch in our pajamas. The feeling of loneliness and depression is hitting some of us extremely hard. Some, including myself, LOVE the Christmas season, but this year, the joy and comfort this season seems like it’s on the brink of being replaced with worry, family separation, and unmet expectations.

Regardless of your take on this season, a choice has to be made. Much like the shepherds who received the Good News from the angels on the night Jesus was born, we can remain where we are (whether in disappointment or even just distraction of life), or we can go to the stable and choose to worship.

In Luke, the picture that is painted of praise and worship is breathtaking. When Jesus was born, an angel appeared to share the GREAT news for all to join together and PRAISE GOD.

“Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.’” (Luke 2:13-14 NLT)

Worship and praise of Jesus’ birth is mentioned throughout the bible, from Hebrews to Revelation. Angels and shepherds spread the GREAT news of His birth and intentionally spent time praising God.

They chose to worship.

Christ in Christmas has started to fade. Some are intentionally removing Him and replacing Him with other beliefs and traditions, while others just have Him hidden (or forgotten) in the background. Christ in Christmas is not a cliché—it is an intentional act of worship that comes from the heart. We can combat the loneliness, hustle and bustle, and stress, if we just keep HIM as the center of our focus this Christmas.

This Christmas, we all get to make a choice. We can choose the stress and loneliness, or we can choose the hope, joy, and peace that comes from keeping Christ in Christmas.

While drinking the hot cocoa and stringing the tree with Christmas lights (which I will take part in those traditions myself), I am asking you to make a choice—to worship. I am asking you to become the hands, feet, and even voices to share this GREAT news. Remember, HIS praise is a joyful noise for ALL to hear. Remember, JESUS is the one we are celebrating. Choose to keep Christ in Christmas this holiday season, and spread the GREAT news of His birth.

- Abbie

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