Keeping It Simple

by | Apr 27, 2019 | Christmas

Matthew 11:29-30 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The secret to surviving Christmas? Keep it simple!

I don’t know about you, but I worry about the Christmas standards that a lot of people are setting for themselves and trying to accomplish. Yesterday, one of the young pastors in our Presbytery – whom I greatly respect – wrote to me about this end of year activity being called ‘the season of procurement.’ I couldn’t think of a better description, for it’s a time of procuring more pressure on ourselves as we try to keep up with the latest gadgets, gifts, and God only knows what’s next. We’re killing ourselves trying to be too cute and too kind. It’s not worth it, folks, because next Christmas we’ll have to do something bigger, better, and beyond what we’ve accomplished this year.

Secret Santas, Yankee Gift grabbing, office parties, and a whole host of other ‘festive’ events are wearing us out spiritually, physically, and financially. Instead of relishing the ‘restive’ side to Christmas by simply living each day in Christ’s love, we’re recklessly abandoning our faith to embrace a type of Christmas that Charles Dickens actually invented for Ebenezer Scrooge’s salvation. Indeed, if we go to the Four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we’ll discover that the event which generated Christmas – Christ’s Birth – is not actually recorded in two of the Gospels!

So, to honestly survive Christmas – keep it simple. The only gift we need to focus on is the one that God gifts to the world: His Son Jesus Christ. Everything else is just tinsel and trivial, to be left behind and forgotten as soon as the New Year begins.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we are in a mess of our own making and under pressure that we’ve procured. Instead of pursuing rest in Your Presence, we are restless in pursuing presents. Save us from ourselves and enable us to keep Christmas simple. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA


Keeping It Simple