Creating Traditions That Point to the Real Reason for the Season

by | Nov 30, 2017 | Spirit-Led Living

When I was young, I loved Christmas. I looked forward with great anticipation to all the delightful surprises that attended it: special cookies baked at that time of year, ribbon candy, a breathtaking tree, carols on the family record player and, of course, presents. I could hardly wait until Christmas Eve, when I was allowed to open one gift—the one from my grandparents on my mother’s side.

In spite of my childish excitement over the trappings, however, I never lost sight of the real reason for the holiday—the birth of Jesus. I believe this was because I was blessed to have parents who, according to Roman Catholic tradition, celebrated the liturgical season of Advent.

Every year, we set aside the four weeks before Christmas as a special time of preparation and rejoicing. Each Sunday during that period we would light candles on an Advent wreath, one candle for the first Sunday, two for the next and so on. Then we would sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” a hymn that expresses the longing of God’s people for their Messiah, and say a prayer.

In addition, on the first day of December we put up an Advent calendar that had little numbered doors on it, one for each of the days leading up to Christmas. My siblings and I would take turns opening the doors to reveal characters or scenes related to Jesus’ birth. It was a wonderful way to both count down to Christmas and instill in us a sense of expectation about the coming of the Christ child.

We were taught that Advent was a time of waiting, during which we were to prepare ourselves to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Just as the Israelites had to wait while they made themselves ready for the Savior whose coming had long been prophesied to them, we had to wait while we prepared our hearts to receive the promised Son of God.

Of course, we knew that Jesus was not born into the world each year. The waiting was symbolic. But it served to help us focus on the magnificent gift God had given us that first Christmas.

I’m not recommending that you add these traditions to your current celebrations. I am simply pointing out that there is more to Christmas than Santa Claus and sleigh rides, trees and presents. Though the statement has become almost a cliché by now, it nevertheless rings true: Jesus is the reason for the season. Let’s remind our children—and ourselves—of this fact, and take time to acknowledge Him in the midst of the holiday season.

In whatever activity you undertake, whether it be purchasing or wrapping gifts, decorating your home or attending a party, turn your heart to Him and thank Him for coming to earth to save us. Let Him know that you love Him and ask Him to prepare your heart for a fresh revelation of Himself. Teach your children to seek Him as the Magi once did and to cry out with the saints of old, “Come, Lord Jesus, come!” Build in them an excitement, not for the arrival of a jolly old man in a red suit, but for the advent of the Savior of the world.

In this season, I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. May the Lord bless you with an abundance of His love, His grace and His manifest presence. May He grant you the company of all those you hold dear and gift you, above all, with a greater measure of Himself.

Prayer Power for the Week of Dec. 3, 2017

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations, pray that more and more would stop to contemplate the true meaning of Christmas. Pray that the Spirit of God would quicken the reality of His great gift, and that the songs, Bible stories and joy of the Lord would penetrate their hearts with the truth that sets them free. Continue to pray for the president and all those working with him to ensure the peace and safety of our nation. Remember the military and their families, and continue to pray for those still suffering from the effects of natural disaster, war, terror and disease. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the safety of those traveling there to worship. Read John 3:16.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZdzLoS3wCM During a recent visit to @HungryGeneration, Pastor Vlad Savchuk asked Bill Wiese to comment on his personal experience applying the Word of God to his own life and health. These same principals hold true for all who read and...

Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Read Time: 4 Minutes 2 Seconds When I first became a believer in 1970, my mother was one of my first “converts," giving her heart to Jesus as soon as I shared with her the beauty, the power and the opportunity of making Jesus the Lord of her life. However, my father...

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

Read Time: 1 Minute 32 Seconds The last six years have been the best of times and the worst of times. I’ve seen more death, destruction, disease and devastation than I care to remember. I’ve also seen the hand of God move in extraordinary ways. Indeed, sometimes I...

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 41 Seconds I was remembering a time when my husband and I were praying over friends who had been in a situation for many years that had caused deep trauma to their souls. As we were praying for them, I became aware of an angel standing over them...

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Read Time: 2 minutes 26 seconds The term "gaslighting" has gone viral across social media this year and Merriam-Webster chose it as their word-of-the-year, saying searches for the word spiked 1,740% in 2022 alone. We're breaking down what the Bible has to say about...

Learn How to Be Grateful From Those Who Have So Little

Learn How to Be Grateful From Those Who Have So Little

Read Time: 3 Minutes 18 Seconds Looking around my hometown of Los Angeles, my heart soars with gratitude. My home is safe, my bills are paid and I was fortunate to be able to serve my family an ample Thanksgiving meal. And yet, I am fully aware that hundreds of...

RECENT ARTICLES

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

Read Time: 4 Minutes 50 Seconds Do you believe the Lord is concerned about your emotional and spiritual health? He is. He wants you to know how to improve your emotional and spiritual health to be...
I Never Thought I’ve Have to Say This: Jesus Was Not Trans

I Never Thought I’ve Have to Say This: Jesus Was Not Trans

Read Time: 3 Minutes 27 Seconds You may have heard about the controversy that erupted in Cambridge, England, this past Sunday at Trinity College. The preacher, Joshua Heath, a junior research fellow who has a Ph.D. in theology, offered a sermon in which he suggested...

Prophetic Word: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Prophetic Word: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Read Time: 4 Minutes 48 Seconds At a recent gathering where a person was struggling, I heard and declared by the Spirit of the Lord, “Goodness is following you; turn and see. Embrace His goodness in this moment and watch the shift!” There was an immediate shift and...

Why Becoming Like God Requires Special Effort

Why Becoming Like God Requires Special Effort

Read Time: 2 Minutes 7 Seconds We can walk with God and come into unity with Him by clothing ourselves in His nature. This will require that we restrict and control the desires of the flesh by putting our focus on obtaining the very substance and characteristics of...

3 Reasons for Hope This Advent Season

3 Reasons for Hope This Advent Season

Read Time: 3 Minutes 6 Seconds I didn’t grow up celebrating Advent. When I was little, we put up a tree, got presents and had a Christmas Eve service. It seemed to me that most grown-ups were stressed over Christmas and thankful when it was all over. It wasn’t until...

How To Be Hilariously Happy in Your Giving

How To Be Hilariously Happy in Your Giving

Read Time: 4 Minutes 17 Seconds The day after Thanksgiving is culturally called Black Friday, in the U.S. It marks the beginning of retail sales that could ensure a successful and profitable Christmas-gift-buying season. Black Friday In decades past, book-keepers...

Pin It on Pinterest