Pause

Ever wondered what it means to keep Christ in Christmas? Well, you’re doing it right now!

You’re taking a break from shopping or Christmas goodies or a gift exchange because a nudge from the Spirit invited you to pause.

You are taking specific steps to live out your belief that Jesus is the reason for the season.

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Listen

Let all of these praise the Lord’s name because only God’s name is high over all. Only God’s majesty is over earth and heaven. God raised the strength of his people, the praise of all his faithful ones— that’s the Israelites, the people who are close to him. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 148:13-14

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Think

Almost six hundred years ago, Scotland’s religious leaders celebrated their country’s independence from England by writing a confession declaring faith in one God alone, “whom alone we must serve, whom only we must worship, and in whom alone we put our trust” (Scots Confession, 1560). The confession describes God as eternal, infinite, immeasurable, incomprehensible, all-powerful, and invisible. In their words we hear poetry, symmetry, depth of passion and unwavering devotion. There is God and no one else. Period.

What might it mean for us to serve, worship, and trust God alone? How would our experience of Christmas be different if the only thing that consumed our attention and affection was God’s light shining through the babe in a manger? We could still sing the Christmas carols, and go to the family dinners, and share the excitement of gifts, but all of it would be filtered through our love for Christ alone. It kind of makes you wonder.

Tammy Wiens

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Pray

Lord, God, there is none like you. Sometimes I want to go my own way or do things on my own strength, but sooner or later I realize it’s pointless. Give me faith to put all my trust in you, to serve and worship you alone. Amen.

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Go

May your heart be full of gladness
And the peace that covers sadness
May your joy be overflowing
And your many blessings growing
May you have the time you've longed for
With the people that you love
May you have yourself a merry Christmas now.

Sara Groves, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” 2008

Tammy Wiens

Tammy Wiens is the Associate for Christian Formation at the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Among many and varied tasks, she serves as Mission Coordinator for UKirk college ministries. She also works alongside Christian educators from many different denominations to figure out together what it means to teach and grow in faith. When not at work, Tammy loves to ride her bike, walk a golf course and hit a few balls, and make music with her husband, Sheldon.

Unto Us: Silent Night

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