Silence: Take a moment to get still and ask God to center your heart on him.
Scripture: And Mary said,“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. (Luke 1:46-48).
Devotional: A few years ago I stumbled across a website called “Advent Conspiracy”. It’s a movement started by 5 pastors that wanted to reimagine how they practiced Christmas in their communities. Advent Conspiracy was born out of their conversation and dreaming.
Advent Conspiracy is built around 4 tenets and we’ll survey those over the next four days.
The first tenet is “Worship Fully”.
When Mary learned she was going to be carrying the son of God in her womb she worshipped. She sang that her soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoices in God her savior, for he had looked upon the humble estate of his servant.
Shouldn’t this be all of us? We were broken, alone, sin-infected, orphaned, and dead in our trespasses, but God was rich in mercy and made us alive together with grace. Through this grace we were saved. We have every reason for our soul to magnify the Lord and have our spirits rejoice in God, our Savior.
Christmas should be centered around this beautiful truth. The good news of great joy that was proclaimed to the world, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Yet, we’ve made this season about something else.
We’ve made it about consumerism, presents and Christmas activities rather than about Jesus. There is nothing wrong with buying gifts, or receiving presents or the traditions of Christmas, but these are good things that were never meant to be ultimate things.
My concern is that people love the spirit of Christmas more than the Savior that Christmas is centered around.
Romans 1 tells us that in our sin we go from worshipping the Creator to worshipping created things. We go from worshipping the Creator of the gifts to the gifts themselves. Our soul starts to magnify and our spirit rejoices in the wrong thing. Yes, we can enjoy buying presents, receiving gifts, Christmas movies, lights and Christmas traditions, but our soul shouldn’t magnify in those things. The purpose of gifts, traditions and created things is to point you to the Giver of gifts. The purpose of blessings is to turn your eye to the One who blesses.
I love this challenge from the Advent Conspiracy website. “It starts with Jesus. It ends with Jesus. This is the holistic approach God had in mind for Christmas. It’s a season where we are called to put down our burdens and lift a song up to our God. It’s a season where love wins, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated with each breath. It’s the party of the year. Entering the story of advent means entering this season with an overwhelming passion to worship Jesus to the fullest.”
Let us worship Jesus fully this Christmas rather than the gifts he gives us. Let the gifts we receive point us to the giver of gifts. Lastly, let us enjoy the season where love wins, peace reigns and a king is celebrated with each breath.
Question: Are you worshipping Jesus or the idea of Christmas more? How can you make this season more about him?
Action: Check out the Advent Conspiracy website to learn more about this global movement to reimagine how Christmas can be done.
Prayer: God, thank you for sending a baby to the city of David who was Christ the Lord. You were rich in mercy and lavished your love upon us through sending us your one and only son. I ask that you would help me turn my heart from worshipping the created things of Christmas instead of the Creator. Teach my soul to magnify and my spirit to rejoice in you, the greatest Gift of all. Amen.