December 12, 2019


December 12, 2019


Matthew 11:16-19
Colossians 3:23
This weekend’s scripture: Matthew 11:2-11


Today is my brother’s birthday. As children, we celebrated each birthday as if it was the only special day of the year with decorations, parties, gifts, games, and friends.  I felt sorry for Dad because his birthday was December 24, and we never focused on him on Christmas Eve.  
Today, our family celebrates our mother’s birthdays because, being ninety-four, each one could be her last. As for my siblings and me, we no longer have birthday celebrations. We call each other and send cards.  
I remember that many of my Christmas Days in the past were not celebrations of Jesus’ birth. They were usually family days.  Eventually, I began several new rituals to prepare the way to celebrate Jesus’ coming. 
Here is one ritual: I purchase a gift for another as if I am purchasing that gift for Jesus. I ask, “What would delight her if she were Jesus?  What would benefit him the most if he were Jesus?” I treat the store personnel as if they were Jesus. I answer emails as if I were answering Jesus. Then, especially on Christmas Day, my focus is to treat the other as if that person was Jesus.  

Questions for the Field

  •  In what ways do you celebrate special occasions with your family, friends, acquaintances, and people with whom you work?
  •  In what ways have you celebrated Christ’s birth?
  • Are there any new rituals which might help you celebrate Jesus’ birth this year?

Family Field Talk

  1. What are the special ways your family celebrates special events?
  2. What are some of the special celebrations that have been extra special in the past? Why?
  3. In what ways does your family celebrate Jesus birth?
  4. Are there any new rituals for celebrating Jesus’ birth that your family may want to try this year?

Prayer Guide

Gracious Lord, Jesus Christ, it is fun to celebrate special moments in our lives.  I pray that you help me keep my focus on you through that I do this Christmas. In your gracious name, I pray.  Amen.