Sometimes, as parents, we scratch our heads over how we can truly allow Jesus to be the central figure of Christmas. It seems strange to even say that because in reality, Jesus is the central figure of Christmas whether we acknowledge it or not. But I just wonder how many of our Christian homes truly allow him to be. I use the word “allow” because it’s not just going to happen. Jesus is not going to barge into your home and force himself to be central to your Christmas. If we are going to allow him to be central, we must not be passive, but proactive.
Why are we so passive?
I don’t think Christian parents are passive because they want to be passive. Nor do I think they are simply apathetic toward Jesus being central to Christmas in their homes. As Christians we are passionate about Jesus. We know he is the promised Messiah who came to save his people from their sin and reconcile them back to God. Without Jesus we would be hopeless! Everything we would ever need in our lives was lying in that manger on that first Christmas night. We know this! We give our very lives for this message we call the gospel. So perhaps we are passive not because we are apathetic, but because we do not know how to be proactive.
How does Jesus become central?
So the question is, how do we take that passion for Jesus and use it allow Jesus to be the central figure of Christmas in our homes? Unfortunately, I do not have all the answers to this question but I do think there are some small things we can do that will take little work on our part.
My Merry Christmas
In a previous blog post I recommended a book called “My Merry Christmas” by Sally Lloyd Jones. In this very short, but meaningful children’s book, the author ties familiar Christmas symbols to the true meaning of Christmas, Jesus Christ. This is helpful because this actually allows Jesus to become central in your home this Christmas. I have said “central” many times in this blog and this is why: Many Christians have a list of priorities that read something like this:
Although this looks good, this is not keeping Jesus central. Keeping Jesus central means he is number 1 in everything, not simply number 1 on a list of other priorities. He is the priority! He is number 1 in our families, our jobs, our hobbies…etc. So when it comes to Christmas, it is no different. Many people keep Jesus first during Christmas, but have not yet allowed him to become central. For example, we may read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke before we open presents on Christmas morning. But then little is said of Jesus for the rest of the day.
Jesus in everything
When Jesus is central to our Christmas, we see Jesus in everything. Everything we do or open points us to Jesus. The lights on the tree point us to Jesus as the light of the world. The green Christmas tree is a symbol of life that points us to Jesus being the one who gives us true life. The food we eat gives us satisfaction but ultimately points to the one who ultimately satisfies our souls, Jesus Christ. The gifts under the tree point us to Jesus as our ultimate gift given to us because God loves us so much. All other gifts will get old and go into the garbage one day, but the gift God has given us in Jesus will last forever.
For more examples of how to point your kids to Jesus using Christmas symbols, please click the image below to purchase “My Merry Christmas.” You can download the Kindle version for only $3.03 and use it tonight!
Making it Practical
Is your home Christ-centered this Christmas? Are there some small adjustments you can make in order to allow Jesus to be central to your Christmas? Perhaps before you open presents this year you will remind everyone of the true gift of Jesus Christ. Maybe when you are around your Christmas tree or looking at Christmas lights, you will remind your children that the lights represent Jesus being the light and he empowers us to be his light in such a dark world. None of this takes prep time, it only takes a commitment to be faithful in pointing your kids to Jesus.
God will use you!
I can almost guarantee you this will be awkward at first, but I promise God will bless your faithfulness as parents and empower you to do this. He is not reluctant to work through you. He wants your home to be Christ-centered more than you do! So step out in faith and watch God go to work. Think of the conversations you can have with your kids. Think of the legacy you can pass down to them when they have kids of their own. More than that, think of the impact you will have on God’s Kingdom as you point them to their Savior, Jesus Christ.