By The M46 Team
As we gather as believers in Jesus to celebrate his birth over the Christmas holiday, we have the privilege of creating special moments that can be practiced each year and can help build strong connections between parents, children, siblings, and friends. Family traditions can be powerful, bond-building activities that create a sense of stability and core memories. Ideas for making moments extra special are sprinkled all over the internet, magazines, and movies. However, the most important tradition to incorporate into your merrymaking is to make Jesus central.
The use of food and drink is a great way to remember and signify important spiritual principles. Taking communion is the best example of remembering Jesus’ sacrifice, and what he asks us to do (Luke 22:17-19). Passover has many elements of food and drink that beautifully commemorate each step of the Jews’ Exodus from Egypt. Hot cross buns, candy canes, and so many other Christmas traditional foods already have beautiful meanings behind them. Why not come up with one of your own? Your family could create a special way to remember some aspect of the Christmas story that resonates with you by creating a recipe that represents a beautiful story connected to Christ’s birth.
Joy is so central to celebrations. Singing is a beautiful way to express joy as a family. Psalm 100:2 states, “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs” (NIV). Another idea is to create a special time to sing joyful carols or worship songs (or both) with your family on some special evening during the holiday season. Or you could worship every night together as a family during your vacation (but why stop there?)!
Games are another important expression of joy! Find time to play together as a family. Each family is unique, so play will look different to different people and in different seasons. For some, getting outside for hours is essential! Others need quiet and cozy moments with board games and puzzles. Setting your phones aside, switching the TV off, and shutting your computer down are great ways to actually be present with each other.
Focused spiritual practices including special holiday devotions, Bible readings, church services, and Christ-centric entertainment (concerts, movies, books etc.) are wonderful ways to build memories together as a family. They encourage each person to put Jesus at the center of life and the holidays while providing a means of personal and spiritual growth. It would also be valuable for you to learn The 5 Love Languages and find new ways to love your children and spouse well. There are quizzes online that can help you and your family discover your love languages.
Christmas is a time to reflect on the gift of Christ’s beautiful surrender to God’s will, beginning with coming to earth as a helpless infant. Each year, most of us in the West pause and (regardless of faith), gather with our families to remember the connections that are most important. However, in the Body of Christ, we are all family and one with Christ (Romans 6:5).
This year, the team at M46 Ministries wants to encourage you to ask the Lord who should be included in your family’s Christmas gathering. Sometimes it is just supposed to be immediate family members, but we know from Psalm 68:8 that, “God sets the lonely in families…” It’s a good idea as a Christian to see if there are any others God wants to put “into your family” to celebrate the holidays each year.
Jesus at the Center!
Remember that with Jesus at the center of the holidays, competition, depression, comparison, loneliness, disappointment and any dark influences that are common during Christmas time have no place at the heart of godly families! Galatians 5:1 reads, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (NIV).
Christmas can be a great time to go after deeper life in Christ and healing as a family together as you open your hearts to receive the redemptive and healing love of Jesus.
The team at M46 prays that this season, you each become washed in His love and healing power and maybe for the first time, truly enjoy family and friendship over the holidays through the power of the Holy Spirit.