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St. Paul's Staff Blog

Stay Focused on Jesus

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I am hoping that one of the blessings this unusual year’s Christmas season might bring is more time to stay focused on God’s Gift of love to us – His Son, Jesus.  For example, there will probably be fewer shopping excursions to the mall and, in its place, more online shopping which is a time-saver.  Also, there will probably be fewer large parties and gatherings.  In the past, those kinds of things, if we allowed them to, took over our Advent and Christmas seasons.  If we cut back on that, this year, that will allow more time for family and small family gatherings. 

How can we use the additional family time to help us stay focused on Jesus?  Let’s think about that.  I recently read about one family’s tradition of praying for their Christmas card friends.  This family gathers together each night to open and read the cards that came in the mail that day and then they pray for the families who’d sent them.  What a wonderful idea!

What about you? Are there Christmas traditions or habits that help keep you focused on the Reason for the Season?

Talk to God about it.  God can help us stay focused on what’s important.  Even amid increased secularization, God makes the core Christmas message known. Take, for example, the story of a “winter pageant” a mother attended at her son’s grade school. Songs of reindeer, snow and Santa included one titled “Christmas Love,” in which the youngest performers held up letters as the song progressed: “C,” “H,” etc.

When a little girl unknowingly held her “M” upside down, the older kids snickered and the adult audience smiled acceptingly. But as the song drew to a close and all the letters were revealed, surprised recognition struck the Christians in the room.

“CHRISTWAS LOVE,” read the string of student-borne letters. God’s truth (1 John 4:9) had penetrated the human clutter and confusion around Christmas — as it has power to do throughout our lives: “Christ was love.” And of course, He still is.  

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