Preparing our Hearts for Christmas

Christmas is a season that we are very familiar with as Christians.

We know Christmas is about celebrating Jesus coming to earth in human form as a child. We know that Christmas is about celebrating what it means for all humanity that the Messiah would willingly choose to come to earth to rescue His people. We know that Christmas is about reflecting on the immeasurable love of God; that He would send His only Son to earth to one day die as the all-atoning perfect sacrifice - the Lamb without blemish or defect (1 Peter 1:19).

We know these statements to be true. These ideas are familiar to anyone who has been a Christian for any length of time.

And yet, in the midst of the busy, chaotic, and increasingly secular Christmas season that we engage in today, it is very easy for us to get sidetracked and lose sight of the awe and wonder of the Christmas season. We can get caught up in organising family get-togethers, purchasing presents and thinking about what we are going to wear on Christmas Day, instead of setting aside time to reflect on what the Christmas season is actually all about.

Some years ago, I came across a great free resource from Desiring God called 'Good News of Great Joy'. This resource is a powerful and inspiring daily devotional that takes the reader through 25 short devotional readings from the 1st of December through to Christmas Day. As the description on the website says: "This book of Advent meditations aims to put Jesus at the center of your holiday season."

When I read through Good News of Great Joy myself a few years ago, this devotional helped me greatly in being able to focus in on Jesus in the midst of the very busy Christmas season. As I read the daily devotions, I found myself being impacted afresh with the true message and meaning of Christmas. The Christmas season became alive for me; my faith was stirred and strengthened as I was filled with awe and wonder at the significance of Christmas!

So here is the challenge for each of us as we think about preparing our hearts for Christmas: put Jesus at the centre of this Christmas by downloading and reading Good News of Great Joy for yourself. I will be taking up the challenge again this year and know that my Christmas will be all the better for having done so.

Allow yourself to be filled with awe and wonder as you set aside time to focus on the reason for the season this Christmas as you read this devotional!


Ps Joel Hawting

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