By Jonathan Moseley
I love this time of the year as we celebrate Advent, a word that simply means arrival. It's a season that commemorates God sending His Son to the world. And this is what Christmas is about. We cherish our God who is with us, a God who makes good on his promises, and a God who is after our joy. And yet, it’s easy to breeze through this season and miss God completely. Our hearts enjoy family traditions, holiday movies that make us laugh and cry, home-cooked meals, and the presents we receive. While traditions, entertainment, food, and gifts are not bad in and of themselves, they become empty and useless, and, yes, even destructive if they are enjoyed apart from Christ.
My family has been asking me what I want for Christmas. This morning, I found myself searching through online stores desiring all kinds of gadgets, clothes, and décor that I’ve done just fine without this past year. But suddenly, many of the things I didn’t even know existed have now become things I "need." This is a heart gone astray. The glamor of nice things and new gifts are lures Satan will use to turn your attention away from Christ.
So, I offer a prayer over our hearts this holiday season as we seek to keep Jesus our supreme treasure:
“Father, direct our hearts to praise you as the giver instead of letting our joy rest on the gift. Let each thing we open be a reminder of your gracious and loving provision towards us as your children (James 1:17).
If Christmas comes and goes and we don’t open the gift we asked for, keep our hearts content (Philippians 4:11-13). If we have nothing on earth, and yet we have you in heaven, we have everything. Help us draw our happiness not in what we own but in whose we are (Luke 10:20).
Whatever may be added to us this Christmas, guide our heart in using it to contribute to the needs of your people (Romans 12:13). And like the man who sold all he had to buy the field where he found a treasure (Matthew 13:44), ready our hearts willing to give up all we've received in a moment’s notice if we might gain you. Amen.”
Jonathan Moseley is the Director of Community and Operations at Renewal Church.