Forest Lake Talks

December 5 Advent Devotional

December 5, 2019

Scripture: Hebrews 12: 1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that cling so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Many years ago my sister recommended the book Unplug the Christmas Machine: A Complete Guide to Putting Love and Joy Back into the Season by Jo Robinson.  

According to the book synopsis on Amazon, the book answers questions such as the following:

“How can I reduce the stress of preparing for Christmas?” 

“How can I make our celebration more spiritual and less materialistic?”

“How can I get my husband to be more enthusiastic about Christmas?” 

“How can I get my wife to relax and enjoy the celebration?”  

“How can help my children see that Christmas is more than just presents?”

One way she suggests you can start to unplug and reduce the endless, exhausting lists of things we think are necessary for the holiday season to be “merry and bright,” is to ask your family to complete this sentence, “ It wouldn’t be Christmas unless we _____”.  And then just do those things.

 My daughters answers were, 

“ That we decorate a Christmas tree.”

and “That Mom and ( sister’s name) decorate a tree.”

So that year, we simplified the decorating, the baking, the shopping, the number of gifts, and focused our celebrations on the joy we received from being together, the beauty of our tree, and the birth of Jesus.

I think Hebrews is telling us to let go of our worries and burdens. And instead to relax, and celebrate in the fellowship of our families, friends, church, and to remember that God gave us the ultimate gift of Jesus Christ.

Submitted by: Sheree Ansley

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