I said it year after year: “This year Christmas will be different.” My intentions were good. I wanted Christmas to focus more on Christ and less on everything else. I would try. Some years I would try to limit our family’s activities. Other years I would try to include a family devotion or advent activities, all with the hope of having a Christ-centered focus.
Yet, in honest reflection, all my trying produced little of what I desired. As a result, I quit trying. It was a release that came only from frustration.
It ended up being what God desired all along. I see it now, and not just in regards to Christmas. Instead of trying, God wants me seeking. He wants me seeking Him. Trying focuses on what I can do. Trying lets me decide, it lets me guide, it gives hope of control. Seeking, however, aligns me to receive what God desires to give.
For those of us who get caught up in the details of life, all of which are magnified manyfold at Christmas, Jesus had a poignant word:
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
Jesus was speaking of those of us who worry about such things as what we will eat and drink and what we are going to wear. Add to that list what gifts we’ll will buy and when we’ll get the decorations up and it sounds a lot like the month of December. Yet Jesus suggests a better way: Seek.
So what might seeking instead of trying look like this Christmas?
I believe seeking simply keeps us coming to Jesus, exactly what He did for us – He came. We come looking for Him, listening to Him, worshipping Him, waiting on Him. In our coming, we invite Him to come into each day, the moments, our thoughts, our emotions, our desires, our struggles, our pain. We invite Him to be our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. We place the government of our lives on His shoulders (from Isaiah 9:6-7).
In coming we’re seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness. And His promise is sure: all the other things will be given to us as well.
I do believe this Christmas can be different.