Friday, December 18, 2015

focus on what matters


The heavens are telling (declaring) of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.  Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.

I read a Facebook post from friend earlier this week that said he was going to sleep on the couch with only the Christmas tree lights on.  He used the words peace and joy and talked about the greatness of the season.

Many of the things that are prevalent during this season do wonderful things to help us stop and look at our Savior and the sweetness of the season and of the reality of the Gospel.  Some of these things stick out in my mind, but one of the most critical things I am embracing is how busy we all seem with life.  It is at that time that we have trouble focusing on Jesus.

The sky really is incredible.  One of my children mentioned that the nights around Christmas are to be full moon.  Another member of my family looked at the weather for Christmas and shared that it will be in the 70’s which is not much like Christmas or winter time weather.  It is not the weather that tells me to celebrate Jesus.  It is not even the sky that reminds us of God’s glory that leads to the season.  It is not the Christmas tree or the flickering lights.  But there are a few things that draw my attention to what really matters.

A card came in the mail earlier this week from our friends Leif and Margaret (that would be Margret Fienberg).  They included picture of themselves with their little dog, Hershey.  There was also a letter that talked about their move from Colorado to Utah for ministry, about the healing from Cancer and getting stronger, and they shared how grateful they are for relationships.  I was reminded that relationships matter most.  People matter most.

I walked in to the front door of the church recently and noticed that someone moved the pieces of the nativity scene on the table in the entryway.  By the way, you might know that I notice many things and am a little OCD about stuff.  All the pieces were facing in what seemed like the wrong direction.  Usually they are facing forward so the person looking at the nativity can see who they are and what part they play, but the person who moved these pieces has them all facing one center focused piece which was the baby Jesus.  I wanted to fix the pieces, but I chose rather to take it in, look at it for a few minutes and try to understand how we need to focus on Jesus.

Christmas is a time when we can choose to focus on what really matters.  Focus on Jesus.  Focus on the relationships that God has placed in your life.  Christmas is about life and not things.  The gifts are great but not the central important piece.  The lights and decorations are cool yet often cloud the most important parts of this season.

It is about Jesus.  What is it around you that declares the glory of God?  May we stop and look.  May we change our focus.  May we worship and slow down to let Jesus be the center of our Christmas and to enjoy the relationships around us.

Psalm 70:4  NLT
But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “God is great!”

Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.

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