It is a tradition in our home that my wife and I decorate the house while watching a Christmas movie AFTER THANKSGIVING (those of you who put up the tree before Halloween… you know who you are 😉 ). This year’s pick was “Christmas With The Kranks” starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis.
In case you’re not familiar with the film, it’s about a husband and wife who, after their daughter’s departure to the peace core, have become empty-nesters right in time for the Christmas season. And this year they decide to skip out on all of the holiday hoopla and take a cruise to the Caribbean instead.
Long story short their daughter calls last minute to surprise them with the news that she would be home for Christmas after all! The remainder of the film is a (mildly) funny account of the two desperately trying to make all of the usual Christmas preparations (such as buying the famed hickory-smoked ham) in time for their daughter’s arrival.
There was one part of the film that I found particularly interesting. When Luther (Tim Allen) first makes this pitch of “skipping Christmas” to his wife, Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) agrees, but with one stipulation… that they still give their yearly donation to the church and some other charitable organization.
This, in a nutshell, captures the way in which most Americans assuage their conscience to give during the holiday season… make a donation here, work at a soup kitchen there.
And there’s certainly nothing wrong with either of those. But that’s not exactly what I have in mind…
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning… 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” -John 1:1-2, 14
This is the essence of Christmas. That one-of-a-kind miracle by which God became man and made His dwelling among us to save us from our sin. This is the message I want to help you keep at the center of your home this holiday season. So here we go. Three simple ways you can keep Christ at the center this Christmas.
1. Download this free pdf of John Piper’s book “The Dawning Of Indestructible Joy”.
See, I told you these would be simple. This FREE book contains daily devotions for everyday of Advent. In it John Piper unveils the wonder that Jesus came to set us free from our sin in order that we might know the joy of being in relationship with God. It’s a great way to lead in family devotions or to simply read on your own.
2. Use this season as a springboard for gospel conversations with co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family.
This time of year lends itself to sharing with those in our lives the reason for the hope that we have. Let’s not waste it. Maybe even share with them the free download above.
3. Attend your church’s Christmas service and take a non-believing friend or neighbor.
One of my favorite parts of Christmas is the Christmas Eve candle light service at our church. We pray together, read several portions of Scripture, sing songs of praise, and try to light our candles without setting ourselves on fire. It is a time of great warmth and fellowship among our local body. What a great opportunity to bring someone to experience such joy among believers! Also, make it a point to pick the person up and drive them there. In this way they can follow you in to the building instead of worrying whether or not they’re going to the right place. Plus, this simple act of service does communicate something about Christian love.
Three simple ways to keep Christ at the center. What are some other ways we can keep our focus on the Savior this holiday season? I’d love to hear from you.