5 Ways to a More Worshipful Christmas

Christmas can be busy and along busyness comes stress. In the middle of one of the most wonderful times of the years, we can get burned out with constant activity. Each one of us have about twenty different Christmas parties to attend in addition to Christmas programs at school and at church. There are final exams if you are a student and travel arrangements to grandmas house. In addition there is the pressure of fighting the crowds to find that perfect gift for the one you love. In the middle of all the hustle and bustle it is easy to see why so many are stressed, overwhelmed, and even depressed at Christmas. If I just described your life, here are five ways you can have a more worshipful Christmas.

1. Be Generous to those in Need

Christmas is a wonderful time to be generous to others. Often we buy lavish gifts for our family and friends, but often we neglect those in need. Look for a way you can minister to those around you. Donate some food to the homeless, donate some clothing to a woman’s shelter, or fill up a strangers gas tank. Nothing attacks the selfish hearts we have like radical and unexpected Christ-like generosity.

2. Read the Christmas Story

With the constant distraction, it is easy to lose sight on what is most important. With your hectic calendar during Christmas you have to intentionally set time aside to focus on Jesus. As we celebrate Christmas we are reflecting on the wonderful astonishing gift that God has given us by sending his own son. Sneak away for a bit a read Luke 1 and 2 or John 1 and be amazed at the God you worship.

3. Participate in Your Local Church

There is something about belonging to the body of Christ that makes Christmas extra special. Spending time with other Christians worshiping the Lord together is a wonderful gift. Prioritize attending worship. Go to a Christmas eve service as a family to worship. Help out with a special Christmas ministry your church is doing. Be active and involved at your church this season.

4. Sing those Great Christmas Hymns

Yes, we all know how great a song Baby its Cold Outside or how catchy Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is.  However for Christians some of our best songs are Christmas songs.  Songs like “Go, Tell it on the Mountain” or “What Child is This” or “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” will set your heart on Christ this Christmas.  Rock out to them in your car singing and worshiping Jesus Christ.

5. Sit in the Quiet and Be Still

With all the hustle and bustle sometimes we just need to stop and be still. Cancel a Christmas party or another obligation and just take a night to be alone with God. Reflect on the wonders of the incarnation. Thank God for your savior and praise him for redemption. It is often in the quiet and in prayer that God often aligns our hearts with his. Push the pause button on your myriad of things to do this Christmas and worship the God of the impossible. The God who delivered you from your sin and cleansed you from all unrighteousness through the birth of a baby boy who is the savior of the world.

Book Recommendation: Crazy Busy

When you ask someone how they are doing and answer you often get is, "I'm busy!"  Everyone seems to be busy.  You don't often here people complaining, "I have so much time on my hands, I don't know what to do with myself!" Busyness is a chronic problem many of us face, and Kevin DeYoung's new book Crazy Busy helps with the problem. After finishing this book I was left with a strange mush of conviction and encouragement. What DeYoung does best is diagnose the heart behind our busy lives. He does a fantastic job revealing some of the sinful motivations in our heart for busyness.  DeYoung identifies pride as one of the motivations for our busy lifestyle.  DeYoung writes,

Here’s the bottom line: of all the possible problems contributing to our busyness, it’s a pretty good bet that one of the most pervasive is pride.

However, although this book is helpful in revealing the sin in our own hearts, the must encouraging chapter was Chapter 9: Embracing the Burden of Busyness.  DeYoung tells us that, "the reason we are busy is because we are supposed to be busy".  DeYoung turns to Paul's ministry in 2 Corinthians 11:28 and teaches that busyness is often a part of our suffering for Christ. Part of serving Christ means being spent for him. This was an incredible encouragement to me as I often look at my schedule.  There are major areas of improvement that need to be made, but this acknowledgment that busyness is not always bad was just what I needed to hear.  Part of serving Christ means certain seasons of my ministry are busier than others.

Overall, if busyness is a problem that you deal with, it is worth to give this book a read.  Although DeYoung does a good job of diagnosing our hearts, he does little to help prescribe practical steps to handle our busyness. The application is ultimately left for us to figure out for ourselves.  I commend this little book to you as a helpful diagnoses to your own heart.