Christmas time is for deep celebration and rich connection with friends and family, but we also know that for some this is a challenging season, where family dynamics can be stressful and when we are reminded of the absence of loved ones. Our prayer is that we might all know, in every situation, the presence, power and hope of Jesus Emmanuel – God with us!
As many of us begin to travel to be with family and friends, can I suggest a few things to help us journey with the presence of Christ this season.
Pray: Enjoy daily connection with Christ. If you haven’t found it yet, maybe the Lectio365 prayer app might help! Pete Greig, the founder of 24:7 created this prayer app and along with many other contributors we know, it provides a helpful way to develop daily prayer. I know many people who love it and they all say that it is easy, profound and deeply impactful.
Meditate: Take regular breaks from Amazon, Christmas preparation, TV and ‘Die Hard’ and meditate. If there was one passage, I would recommend it would be John chapter 1 – one of the most profoundly beautiful Christmas scriptures. It just takes ten minutes – read it, read it again slowly and then chew over the sentences, phrases and words and allow the Spirit to speak to you.
Have Fun: Let me encourage us to embrace one of my favourite verses, Ecclesiastes 8:15
So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.
As we do, let’s celebrate the good news that ‘Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given’.
Karen and I are praying for you all this season – that together we may all know the joy, comfort and presence of Jesus Emmanuel – God with us.