Christmas can be the busiest time of the year as we make all our holiday preparations: last-minute shopping, wrapping gifts, planning and attending holiday parties, and cooking a lot of food! Sometimes, our long to-do lists can stress us out, making us forget the real reason for the season. By allowing ourselves to stop, think, and wonder, we can discover the true meaning of Christmas again. 

“Wonder knocks at the deepest doors of the human soul, an invitation to again see through the eyes of the child within–the one who though cloistered for years still waits to see, to hear, to smell, to taste, to touch, to wonder.”

This moving quote by Wm. Paul Young, author of The Shack, opened an article he wrote in Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia magazine entitled “The Wonder of Enough.” He speaks of a season in his life when he lost everything material. With six kids, living in a 900-square foot rental house and working three jobs to keep food on the table, he said they always had enough.

He made an interesting observation in his article: “There’s nothing quite like the loss of all visible means of support and security to heal you of the fear of financial insecurity.” I’ve been there. I know his words are true. I learned when all you have to depend on is Jesus, He’s enough.

May I remind you of what you already know? As you fret about Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and gifts and cards and…STOP, THINK, and WONDER!

STOP

STOP allowing yourChristmas Family focus to be on everything except that upon which it needs to be placed! My wife and I made the decision years ago to not give one another gifts at Christmas. We wanted our focus to be on others, beginning with, but certainly not ending with, our family. We wanted the most valuable asset we have to be lavished on those we love the most. We wanted to allocate all the time we possibly could to be with our kids.

This year, we’re spending the week between Christmas and New Year’s with my daughter, her husband, and his parents for the first time in over 25 years. My Christmas “treasures” are the things my kids made me when they were young. I display some of them in my office to remind me of what matters most.

THINK

THINK about what matters most to you. This Christmas, I wrote cards to each of my children expressing as best I could how much I love them, what they mean to me, how important Jesus is to me, and how important I want Him to be to them. It was a huge leap of faith for me, but I’m turning 70 soon, and most of my years are behind me.

Family ChristmasWhat are you waiting for? As best you can, mend relationships that are broken with loved ones. Tell those you love the most how you feel about them. Open your heart and listen carefully to theirs. When we look back on our lives from the threshold of eternity, it will seem like a “blip” on the proverbial radar screen. We won’t think about the cars we have, the nice house, or extravagant lifestyle—none of that will matter. The only thing that will matter then is Jesus. How would He have you invest yourself this Christmas? What if the most valuable, the best gift you could possibly give to those you love this Christmas, is you?

WONDER

WONDER about what your life could look like if your first thought each morning was Jesus. How many lives could you touch? How much good could you do for the Kingdom if He was the center and focus of your life? My prayer for you and for me is that our lives on earth will be abundantly fruitful for Jesus and will result in incalculable treasure in heaven to God’s glory and honor.

When I was a young boy, I’d lie on my back in my front yard looking up at the massive space above and wonder what was behind it all. I could see the clouds and expanses of blue in the day and the stars at night, but what was beyond all that I could see?

Once I met Jesus, I began to understand that the real question wasn’t “What,” but “Who?” Now, after 70 years on this earth, I’m wondering, “What if?”

What if I yielded everything I am, everything I have, every ounce of life that I have remaining to Jesus and said: “Here, Lord, it’s Yours. Will You invest it in eternity in such a powerful way that I can contribute to the eternal reverberations that will echo down the hallways of heaven, declaring Your honor and glory and praise? May my life be so hidden in You that people won’t even notice me? May the words I speak be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and all the other manifestations of Your grace, mercy, and love.”

Paul wrote, “for me to live is Christ…” I wonder what that could look like if we really took it seriously. I wonder…

The people of Chase Oaks Church are gifts from God to me. I love you, a small portion of the Bride of our Savior, and appreciate your investment in God’s Kingdom. My life is richer, and my wonder is greater because He put this great Church in my life.

As we stop and think of the real reason for the season, remember to invite a few family members and friends to our Christmas Eve services! We hope to see you there!