be intentional this christmas!
intimacy with the Lord:
and this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true god, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent [john 17:3]
this christmas, the intimacy that we experience with our families can replace the intimacy we have with the Lord—our different schedules can change our routines and habits that we have established with intentional time in the word—be intentional about setting boundaries around and getting alone with God-make a plan ahead of time—it will help with all your other interactions with your family.
your identity is secure in Christ:
therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. the old has passed away; behold, the new has come. [2 corinthians 5:17]
when we go “home” we can fall into old patterns, relationship routines that we adopted as children or teenagers in the places we grew up. we can fall back into and play a role that we left behind when we gained our identity in christ. we can find ourselves speaking and acting in old ways contrary to our walk. remember—you are not your own, your identity is found in the person and work of Christ!–that’s who you are, you don’t have to walk in your old ways! maybe this is something you just live out, or maybe it’s a conversation to be had with your parents/cousins/family. maybe you need to tell them directly how the Lord has and is changing you. maybe there are even old patterns that you need to ask forgiveness for with family in order to establish new ones.
proclaim the excellencies of Christ:
but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. [1 peter 2:9]
it is easy to get caught up in the comparison and talk about the same old things: other family members, politics, kids, jobs, weather, vaccinations, sports, your year’s worth of accomplishments. don’t get stuck in that trap and miss out on proclaiming mercies that christ has shown you in this last year—you have an opportunity to change the trajectory of the conversation—boast in christ!
for to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. [isaiah 9:6]
“behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us) [matthew 1:23]
and the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth [john 1:14]
Jesus came. Jesus humbled himself: the King of the world born as a baby who needed to be nursed and changed. the Creator of the universe who upholds the universe by the word of his power had to learn how to speak. he humbled himself to die on the cross. take time to meditate on and point your family to the Christ-child. be intentional this christmas!
~ conor eastman