“Are you ready for Christmas,” the clerk asks at the checkout.
That innocent question can provoke a myriad of emotions. Especially for those who are struggling with the loss of a family member, chronic illnesses, the empty seat at the table due to an incarcerated loved one, or other difficult situations.
The mind screams, “Do I look like I’m ready? I just want to make my purchases and get home!”
Holiday music is piping through the store speakers.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
“And everyone telling you to be of good cheer.”
I just want December to be over!
But finally, the response to the cashier’s question comes out with a snip, “I’m as ready as I’m going to be.”
That was a neutral enough response—not crabby, but still honest.
Beep. Beep. Beep. The cashier continues to scan the items while the awkward silence remains and the music continues to play.
Can’t they turn that music down? It seems to be louder this time of year than other times.
How many of you relate to that scenario? How can we deal with the emotions that intercept the joy that is supposed to be prevalent in this Christmas season?
Our emotions will follow our thoughts. We must put our minds on the things of God.
Fix Your Eyes on Jesus
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 BSB).
When we look to Jesus who is everything we need, then we will begin to think about Who HE is to us.
Who is Jesus to us?
Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23)
Physician (Matthew 9:12)
Savior (Luke 2:12, John 4:42)
The True Light ((John 1:9)
The Way, The Truth, The Life (John 14:6)
Deliverer (Romans 11:26)
Mediator (1 Timothy 2:4-5)
Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13)
Advocate (1 John 2:1)
The Word (John 1:1-2, Rev 19:16)
Though we celebrate the birth of Jesus this time of year, it is not just about the birth, but what He was born to do and what He accomplished in His life for our sake.
The song by Go Fish called “It’s About the Cross” says it well. (Click on the image to listen to the song.)
One of the best ways I found to get my mind off my dismal circumstances is to serve others.
Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (John 10:45 NKJV).
Since Jesus lives in and through us, we are the tangible hands and feet of Jesus in the lives of others.
Ask the Lord to open your eyes to the needs of those around you and lend a helping hand. It may be things such as the following:
- Help pay for items at a checkout when the person in front of you falls short.
- Pay for the meal or drink of the person behind you in the drive through line.
- Offer to pray with someone.
- Send cards or letters to military service men.
- Send cards or letters to inmates.
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or prison/jail ministry.
- Volunteer with meals on wheels.
- Or bake cookies and take them to the neighbors you’ve never met.
Begin with one kind act. It will amaze you at how much better you feel and that one may lead to another. Then another.
As I began to stretch out of my comfort zone, I have heard stories of other people’s lives and I have been given an opportunity to share Jesus with them.
By fixing our eyes on Jesus and serving others as the tangible hands and feet of Jesus, we can have an affirmative response the next time someone asks, “Are you ready for Christmas?”
Father God, I fix my eyes on Jesus for He endured the cross and now sits at Your right hand. Jesus is everything I need. I thank You for You are Emmanuel, God who is with me. You are my Savior. You are my Physician who heals me. You are my Light showing me the way for Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. You are my Deliverer. My Mediator and my Blessed Hope. You Advocate for me and You are the Word. All Your promises come to pass and never fail. Thank You that as I fix my eyes on You this season, I experience Your peace that surpasses all understanding. And as I experience You, may I serve others in ways that they experience You! In Jesus name, Amen.
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year lyrics © Demi Music Corp. D/B/A Lichelle Music Company