Purposefully Making Christ the Focus of the Christmas Season
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. — Colossians 3:2
It is so easy to be distracted at Christmastime by the anticipation of gifts and holiday festivities. That is why it is so important that you follow Paul’s instruction in Colossians 3:2 and purposefully “set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” during the Christmas season. I’ll elaborate a bit more on this verse in just a moment, but first I want to tell you how my mother helped me as a young boy to focus my attention on the true meaning of Christmas.
Each year at Christmastime, my parents loaded my sisters and me into the car, and we drove to one of many Christmas tree “lots” in our city. We walked back and forth among the rows of trees, trying to select the tree that was just “perfect” for our family. Once we chose a tree, Dad purchased it, tied it to the top of the car, drove it home, and set it in our living room. Then we gleefully decorated it with silver tinsel, lights, strings of popcorn, Christmas bulbs of all sorts, and then we topped it off by putting a red and silver aluminum lighted star on the very peak of the tree. Doing this every year was a major event in the Renner household.
I’d sit and look at the lights and decorations literally for hours at a time. So to keep my focus fixed on Christ and not fixated on the Christmas tree, my mother came up with a brilliant idea — she encouraged me each year to make a manger scene out of construction paper. First, I pulled out my big box of crayons and colorfully drew a little barn, filled with animals, shepherds, wise men, Joseph, Mary, Jesus, and an angel sitting on top of the roof of the barn. Then using my little scissors, I carefully cut it out. Right where “hoped-for” gifts would eventually sit under the tree, I’d use dried ice cream sticks and glue to concoct a support structure that would make my little Christmas scene stand upright under the tree.