How to Have a Happy Christmas

In our house we’ve been getting the question, “Is it Christmas yet?” When I was a kid December was the slowest month; now I wish it would slow down. Somewhere between the age of 3 and 36, stuff changes, and Christmas isn’t as magical anymore.

This December we are starting a sermon series called Broken Christmas. The goal is not to reclaim the magic of Christmas we experienced as kids, but to remember why Jesus came into the world at the first Christmas. Each week, we are looking at one way we’ve broken Christmas and how to re-center our lives around the God who became human. To go along with our series, we’ve got a short booklet that you can pick up on the back table that covers each topic we are looking at. You can use this booklet to help you put into practice what we talk about each week or to guide your family in a discussion about who Jesus is. I believe every person at JVC should be praying for at least one person to learn the joy of Christ. More people are open to visiting a worship service this time of year, so I encourage you to invite someone this month. Here’s a preview of what we are looking at each week:

We don’t rest: Jesus came to give us rest, but Christmas is anything but restful. How can we rest this season? What does Jesus mean when he promises to give rest to your soul? It starts with taking his yoke upon us.

We don’t relate: More and more people recognize loneliness is a major problem in the US. The holidays often serve as a reminder of how alone we feel. Even those who are married with kids in the house aren’t exempt from loneliness. But God has eternally existed in a relationship, and created us to be in relationships with him and others. We’ll look at how we can we be more intentional about relating to others this season.

We don’t reflect: Technology has allowed us to be perpetually distracted. Rarely are we left along to our own thoughts. Distractions keep us from never having to look inward. Instead of using the season to reflect on more important things we fill it with busyness. Why? Because often we want to be distracted from deeper pain and loneliness.

We don’t receive: Christmas is about receiving more than giving. John 3:16 reminds us that God so loved that he gave us his son. To enjoy Christmas we must receive and rest in Christ.

It seems as if the older we get the harder it is to have a happy Christmas. There are number of reasons for that, but one big reason is that somewhere along the way we’ve broken Christmas. We’ve forgotten the reason Jesus came and the joy he gives. Instead we fill our time hoping to make it through the season intact. My prayer for you all is that this series would help you rediscover the childlike joy of this season.

In Christ,

Pastor Jon

Naomi Winebrenner