Here are two more thoughts on navigating the Christmas season this year.
First, zealously call to mind the words of Jesus as quoted by Paul in Acts 20:35 – It is more blessed to give than to receive. Consider creative ways to practice giving that go beyond the material. Bless someone with the gift of words of encouragement, time spent in fellowship, ministering to a need. Alter your Christmas budget this year in terms of what you normally spend on yourself, family, and friends and give toward a worthy global missionary enterprise or some charitable cause.
Second, make corporate worship a non-negotiable priority, even if you travel. David spoke of the sanctuary as the place where He saw God uniquely in His power and glory (Psalm 63:2). Ask the Lord to reveal hidden sins in you that grieve His Spirit and hinder your fellowship. Every time you see a purple Advent candle pray for a spirit of insight into the depths of your depravity and give yourself to confession and repentance. But don’t stop there! Ask God to fill you with a spirit of rejoicing and celebration. Every time you see a rose candle offer up praise and thanksgiving for some treasured aspect of Christ in His incarnation and all He has won for you in regeneration, justification, adoption, sanctification, glorification, etc.
Fight the good fight of a sanctified Advent in 2009!