What shall I render to the Lord for all of his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
Christmas is a time set aside to observe in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It also serves as a reminder that we are waiting on His return. It's only natural then, that we want to glorify Him in our celebrations. When it comes to our kids, our attempts seem to be overshadowed by ol Saint Nick, wish lists, and bright shiny packages. Did I say kids? I get pretty pumped up over the shiny packages myself.
My husband and I are still working out our approach to the secular traditions of the holiday season. In the past, I fell into the trap of choosing our approach, setting my own laws of what not to do, and fighting to adhere to these additions to the law... Well, that can take the Merry right out of Christmas faster than the twinkling of a light. It is appropriate for Christian families to feel convicted to keep Christ at the center of such a fast-paced season. I became too legalistic in my approach, placing the emphasis on my actions rather than on Christ's redeeming actions. Christian families everywhere will decide what customs are best for their family, and it will look different from household to household. The unifying factor is Christ!
This year's To Do and what Not To Do list will be different. TO DO: As instructed in Psalm 116:13-14, "I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people." Does anyone else notice that this to do list has everything to do with what He did for us?
Dear Lord, you have given us the most important gift- eternal life through Christ Jesus. Use us to speak this truth to the children. Heavenly father, You see all and know all, and You have written our names in the Book of Life. Neither our naughtiness nor our niceness earned us a place in heaven. We are heirs of Your heavenly kingdom by Your grace. Our niceness is only possible through You. As we place our hope in You, Lord, we ask that you guide and protect us and our children through worldy distractions that exist all around us. AMEN.