Do You Want to Have an Amazing Christmas?
How are your amazing Christmas preparations shaping up? Are your decorations complete and your meals planned? Have you begun your baking frenzy? Maybe you like to give back this time of year and find yourself overextended trying to help others? Whatever you do are you doing it with love?
Speaking of love, I consequently came across a poem I had read in years past written by author Sharon Jaynes. It is what she calls the Christmas version of 1 Corinthians 13. Moreover, with all the hustle and bustle along with the emphasis of hosting amazing and inspiring celebrations; it is important to remember that all we do should be done in love. For it is love that God demonstrates for us that brought us the first Christmas.
1 Corinthians 13 Christmas
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny balls; but do not have love, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime; but do not have love, I’m just another cook.
If I work at a soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity; but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels, and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir’s cantata; but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child and sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse. It is kind, though harried and tired. Love does not envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens. It does not yell at the kids to get out of the way but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love does not give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who cannot. For love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails.
Toys will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.
Jayne points out that there are no activities, no matter how amazing or important that can compensate for a lack of love. As we prepare during Advent for the celebration of Christmas, our songs dedicated to celebrating the noel should resound with love. These love songs should recognize what God has done for us in His amazing love.
A Bit of Christmas History
Christmas wasn’t celebrated by Christians for the first 300 years of its existence. The early Christians focused more on the celebrations of Saints’ death anniversaries than births. Historians acknowledge that the first known recording of a Christmas celebration appears in a document listing compiled in 354 A.D. by a group of Roman bishops. Whereas one manuscript from 336 A.D. notates, ”25 Dec.: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae” (December 25, Christ born in Bethlehem, Judea) Therefore the first recorded celebration of Christmas is December 25, 336 A.D.
But it wasn’t until around the 13th century that Christians added one of the most celebrated traditions of Christmas, the singing of Christmas carols. One of my favorite carols is The First Noel. The name noel derives from the French word for Christmas. This French word ultimately comes from natalis’ or natale domini’. Noel is the name traditionally given to babies born during the Christmas season. This ”First Noel” is certainly an amazing celebration announced by the angels as they chorus to come and see what God has done.
A beautiful modern Christmas song about the First Noel is one performed by Lauren Daigle and written by Edmond Cash, Matthew Redman, and Christopher Tomlin. It is a beautiful song that tells the story the angels sang and reminds us all to indeed ”Come and see what God has done.” It is an amazing story of love as God gives the world a light of hope. Christ left the comfort of His home to not only be born but to suffer, die, and rise from the grave providing for us a way to eternal life. We all are invited to come and see what our amazing God did for us.
Returning Amazing Love
The amazing love that God provides for us through Christ should be reciprocated by us. Loving the Lord our God through a close relationship provides an amazing Christmas of joy that continues every day of the year. He created us for a love relationship with Him and demonstrated this by coming to earth to save us from ourselves. Therefore, God wants a soul that thrills to the joy of His amazing Presence, not just one day a year but in celebration every day.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.Deuteronomy 6:5 (NLT)
As you prepare during Advent for the coming celebration, vow to live closer to God and not stray from the path He prepares for you every day. By applying His commandment of love to your daily life you acknowledge how much God loves you. His love is not about rules and duties or observing religion. Rules can easily become habit-forming and give a false sense of relationship security that simply isn’t real. God doesn’t want our religion He wants our hearts. Life shouldn’t be a comatose and harried routine and certainly, our celebrations shouldn’t become such.
Prepare for an Amazing Christmas of Love Every Day
Advent is a time to prepare your heart, soul, and strength so that loving God rules your thoughts, decisions, and actions. Our life should reflect and demonstrate our love for God and others. So, be challenged this Christmas to come to the manger joyfully singing about the first Noel. Invite others to come and see the amazing thing that God has done as you reflect upon His great love for you. Allow your convictions and knowledge of all that Christ offers to reciprocate fully His most amazing love in your daily life relationships, not in meaningless rituals. Move forward daily with a motivation where your energy comes from the combination of God’s love for you and your love for Him. Surround yourself in comfort, knowing that Christmas is an amazing story of love that never ends.
Make a Christmas vow to ”do everything with love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14) For without love you are nothing more than a noisemaker.
Love in Christ,
I pray that you will understand the words of Jesus, ”Love one another as I have loved you.” Ask yourself, ”How has He loved me? Do I really love others in the same way?” Unless this love is among us, we can kill ourselves with work and it will only be work, not love. Work without love is slavery.Mother Teresa
What are Your Thoughts?
Have you planned an amazing Christmas celebration? Do you remember the love commanded and provided by God every day? Share your thoughts on the amazing love of God. Come see what God does every day.
Cash, E. M., Redman, M. J., & Tomlin, C. D.(2015). Noel [Recorded by L. Daigle]. Brentwood, TN, United States of America.
Graves, D. (2010, April 28). The 1st Recorded Celebration of Christmas. Retrieved from Christianity.com:https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/301-600/the-1st-recorded-celebration-of-christmas-11629658.html
Young, S. (2011). Jesus Calling. Nashville, TN, United States of America: Thomas Nelson.