We just finished a 3 week series in our youth ministry called “Real Christmas” and I received a lot of feedback from our adult volunteers that it helped them regain focus on what truly mattered about the holiday. When we serve in ministry we can get so caught up in the busyness of the church calendar that we forget to take time to remember what is real about Christmas. I hope this can help you, my friend in youth ministry, to remember what’s real this holiday season.
The Real Story
When you take a moment to read the Christmas story this year, instead of turning to Luke 2 I encourage you to read John 1 instead. Remind yourself that the real story of Christmas is so much more than just the baby in the manger. Remember that what happened when the Word became flesh is HUGE! The Christmas story isn’t just a nice bedtime tale we tell once a year – it is an epic account of the Word who was in the beginning-without-beginning stepping down into our world. It is the momentous occasion of the Light entering into the darkness. Christmas is so much more than we make of it – remind yourself what the real story is this year.
The Real Point
What is the point of Christmas? It is glory. When the angels appeared over the fields that night they didn’t sing “Jingle Bells”, “Frosty the Snowman”, or even “Jesus Christ is Coming to Town”. The first words they sang were “Glory to God”. Don’t miss the point that Christmas is all about God’s glory, and don’t forget that “God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him” (John Piper). If you took away all the presents, the activities, and even the family (and I love my family), would you still be 100% satisfied in Jesus? That is glory, and that is the real point of Christmas.
The Real Miracle
There is so much to celebrate in the Christmas story – so many miraculous elements to it. But what is the real miracle of Christmas? Is it the appearance of angels? Is it the star that guided the wise men? Is it the virgin birth? Is it God becoming a human being? These are all miracles to be sure, but don’t see only the circumstances and miss the real miracle of Christmas – love. John 3 says that “God so loved the world that He sent His only Son…” The miracle is that Jesus did not have to come. God did not have to make a way for us. We did not deserve Heaven’s perfect One, but nevertheless God’s love prevailed. That is the real miracle of Christmas.
Please, please, please take a moment to push the pause button on your ministry in the next week and spend some time with Jesus, remembering what’s real this Christmas. I’d love to talk more with you about your ministry and what you’re doing to stay fresh and focused during the holidays – e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.