Christ in Barrenness

Each one of us tends to cradle our burdens as our very own. We cherish our pain as if it belongs to us. We reap the fruits of suffering as if it is to our credit to endure. We recount our stories as if they were about us. I have… 

10. Give Gifts to Neighbors & Family

We love to give gifts to each other because we are created in the image of our heavenly Father who loves to give good gifts to his children! Whether it is an expression of appreciation for a job well done or just to show gratitude for someone as a friend, the tradition of giving gifts extends throughout history. It is an expression of love that is uniquely rewarding because we vicariously experience the joy of the receiver!

9. Eat, Drink and Be Merry

The Christmas Dinner should be a royal feast — filled with joy and mirth! On Christmas Day we are remembering what God gave to us — the offer of eternal life in Jesus Christ! It should be a day filled with love, joyfulness, thanksgiving, and remembrance for what God has done.

8. Reach Out to Help Those in Need

Mrs. Jellyby, Mr. Skimpole, Mr. Jarndyce, Esther Summerson; if you’re familiar with Charles’ Dicken’s work you’ll recognize these characters and their incredibly fun literary names. But why did Dicken’s really write his book, Bleak House?

7. Share the Good News

We’re always busy — preparing food, planning activities, wrapping presents, making schedules. This season is a time of bustling and exhausting activities! But even amid the flurry of excitement surrounding the next few days, let’s pause from our preparations and consider the night Jesus was born.

6. Praise God with Song and Carols

This year, as you remember the joyous occasion of Jesus’ birth, celebrate with songs. Proclaim the incarnation with all the festivity of a royal arrival.

5. Decorate Your Home for Christmas

Home: That most singular of places, a sanctum where we should be best known, the residence of life at its deepest and most intimate, the outpost from which the family, that beautiful institution, reaches out like a ray of light from a window and extends the beauty and power of Christ’s dominion into every aspect of culture. …

4. Put Candles In Your Windows

When I was about nine years old my family took a trip to New England. One of the most memorable moments happened while driving through an old neighborhood at night. Almost without exception all of the homes displayed candles in their windows. I’ll never forget the welcome it conveyed, how it drew us in, the warm light on the streets, the glow coming from each window. …

3. Bring In a Christmas Tree

Stately, well-proportioned, vividly green and alive. Bedecked with warmth and light and beauty. Surrounded with the smells and imagery and memories of one of the most beloved times of year. The Christmas tree is a commonly recognized piece of Western culture in our era. All manner of symbolism and legend has been attached to its presence during the Christmas season and there are many interpretations of the story of its origin.

2. Listen to Christmas Music

Remember that word “HARK!” Ever wonder what you were singing? “Hark! the herald angels sing…” “Hark! how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say throw cares away…” An odd old expression of the English language long since fallen out of use, the word is yet perfect in its own way. A command: LISTEN! Give your ears to hear! Pay close attention! Mark what I say! Eagerly pay heed! We sing it all the time around Christmas and never give it a second thought. But it calls out demanding an audience. What you are about to hear is important. It is life!

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
—Revelation 11:15