ON THE JOURNEY

JAMES HASSELL, CO-PASTOR

Celebrating Christmas Like Jesus

The holidays can be both exciting and exhausting. If we’re not careful, fatigue can zap our attitude and may lead to unnecessary conflict among friends and family. Fortunately for us, we find that Jesus took part in many Jewish festivals during his earthly ministry. His example reveals some excellent ways to deal effectively with holiday chaos. Here are a few.

 

1.     It’s ok to lighten up and celebrate! Jesus seemed to enjoy celebrations. He turned water to wine at a wedding banquet, for crying out loud! In fact, some of the religious know-it-alls found it infuriating that Jesus spent so much time hanging out with people and eating. He even constantly compared the Kingdom of God to a great banquet. At Christmastime, we get to practice what the Kingdom is like. It’s ok to enjoy yourself and celebrate like Jesus.

2.     Find good teaching moments during the holidays. Jesus did not just celebrate for the sake of it. He always had a point to his actions. When we find Jesus at the table with many others, we most often also find him telling people about the nature of God. He taught in ways that weren’t demeaning or boring, either. He found a way to relate the dinner conversation and activities at celebrations back to God. How can you help your family or friends this year understand that there is something quite powerful connected to Christmas? How can you show them who God is?

3.     Get adequate rest. Jesus’ example of rest is astonishing to some. He accomplished so much, but he did not appear to be consumed with his work. In fact, we are told constantly by the Gospel writers that Jesus got away consistently for rest. Rest was a part of his schedule. It’s ok for us to imitate Jesus at this point, too. Sometimes, you may just need to take a nap over the holidays. All of the food, clothes, preparations, and presents are not worth sacrificing your mental health. Seek as your absolute first priority the ways of God, and all of the other things will fall into place.


-James