And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. Luke 2:12 NLT
It seems logical, doesn’t it? That we should invite Jesus into our Christmas celebrations? But we forget. In our busy rushing, we disconnect from Him and fritter away our days. And yet, He stands ready, wrapped like a gift in the manger.
The amazing thing is that God has created us all as creatures able to connect with their Creator. “The Bible tells us that we are God’s masterpieces (poiema in Greek); not only creatures, but His creations, His poems (Eph 2:10). We are living epistles (2 Cor 3:3). And so, our lives are meant to be listened to, because it is God who is speaking into and out of and through the symphony of the years, and the masterpiece of a lifetime.”
If He is the Master, and we the masterpiece, why do we settle for rote methods to reach for Him? Why do we believe monotony is the way to His heart? Author Ken Gire said, “We reach for God in many ways, through our sculptures and Scriptures. Through our pictures and our prayers. Through our writing and our worship. And through them, he reaches for us.”
Here are two creative, interesting ways we can unwrap the gift of Jesus this Christmas.
Ask for a word for next year. Over the past few years around Christmastime, I ask God to give me a word for the year. This word or verse shapes the way I walk through the next year. It’s a small way to build deep anticipation into my heart as I wait on Him and then implement the word(s). One year the words were “Joy in rest. Truth in love.” As things got difficult, I remembered to choose to rest and let God restore the joy in my heart. When painful relational difficulties threatened, I remembered the importance of being both truthful and loving.
In France He spoke these words: “Be comfortable in your own skin” and “Abundance.” I learned the joy of being happy with how God made me. And I strove to go to Jesus for abundance, where He fills me up with rivers of living water. Those words to me helped me shape a difficult year. They helped focus me as I searched the Scriptures that year. And they framed how I viewed Jesus during the holidays. I asked myself, how can I experience the abundance He promised right here, right now? And how can I celebrate Him in a way that fits me?
Be a Statue. Michaelangelo said this about one of his statues: “I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free.” Sometimes we’re so busy trying to recreate ourselves or micromanaging our own relationship with God that we forget He is the divine Carver. Why not shift your thinking? Consider yourself His masterpiece. Trust in His chipping away.
Determine not to grab God’s tools, but trust that He sees beauty in you like no one else can. Choose today to connect with God as your skilled Sculptor, One who pursues your best, chips away at the rough spots, until freedom results. As you pray at the end of this year, ask God to form you into the follower He wants, relinquishing your own agenda.
My time with Jesus now is full of surprises. I respond to His words for me with creativity as I embrace the fact that He is my creator. I wait in expectancy for His creative ways to surprise me. And I’m forever changed in the process.
Let that be your goal this Christmas, to engage with Jesus every single day. To hear His voice, to reach for Him in new ways. Let Him speak a word over you. Be still in order to hear his voice.
Jesus, I invite You to my Christmas celebrations this year. And not only that, I invite You to renew my life every single day. Please whisper a word to me for next year. Please help me be still enough to hear that. Please be near when I feel far. I love You. Merry Christmas, Jesus.
Something to think about: What does Jesus want from you for Christmas this year? Is it a particular sin you need to let go of? A relationship in need of reconciliation? A bridge to rebuild? A wrong to right? Write it down in a journal, then determine to obey Jesus as your gift to Him.