Journey to a Joyous Christmas

A joyous Christmas happens when we choose to journey to meet Christ. Christmas motivates us to step outside of our everyday lives and experience the most momentous event in history. Let’s consider this idea of journeying to meet Christ in light of that first Christmas celebrated over 2000 years ago.

Luke 1:39-56

When she found out she was pregnant, Mary journeyed to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Pregnant with her own miracle baby, Elizabeth encouraged Mary. Mary to then rejoiced in her personal journey with God.

Luke 2:1-7

Mary & Joseph journeyed to Bethlehem for the census. The struggle to secure appropriate lodging resulted in possibly the most unassuming, simple entry into this world that God as flesh could make.

Luke 2:8-20

The shepherds journeyed to see Jesus after being encouraged by the angels’ praise. The shepherds “told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child,” and they “went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying God for what the angels had told them.”

The journeys taken that first Christmas point toward a journey each of us must take if we hope to truly experience a joyous Christmas. Consider the following aspects as you make the journey this year toward a joyous Christmas.

  1. Christmas intensifies feelings.

    The shepherds’ reaction to their journey as well as Mary’s expression during her visit with Elizabeth illustrate this point well. Unfortunately, bad feelings can intensify too. Focus expectations on Jesus rather than on the world’s view of Christmas to make sure good feelings intensify instead.

  2. Words impact Christmas joy.

    Elizabeth’s words encouraged Mary. The angel’s words encouraged the shepherds. In both cases, encouraging words resulted in tremendous joy that spread to others. Our words can destroy or build Christmas joy. Think before speaking at Christmas and also year round.

  3. A joyous Christmas comes from a focus on Jesus.

    Elizabeth’s encouragement focused on God. So did Mary’s response. The angels’ song focused on God. So did the shepherds’ response to that song as well as their response to seeing Jesus. All experienced a joyous first Christmas because of a focus on God through His Son’s birth. Then and still today, when Jesus is the focus, joy is the result.

Life constantly serves up a full menu of distractions. Biblical history shows this as much as our own calendars and checkbooks today. The journey to a joyous Christmas comes through a deliberate choice to push through, and most likely to push away, distractions and to instead deliberately focus on Jesus.

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8 thoughts on “Journey to a Joyous Christmas

  1. I've found that one of the best ways for me to really focus on Christmas is actually to keep Easter in focus. I know it sounds strange, but Christ's birth really takes on significance and meaning when you realize the purpose of Jesus's coming to Earth in the first place. My boys are starting to get old enough where we can explain this stuff to them, and that helps us stay focused as well!

    • Great point! I try to focus on Easter too as I enjoy Christmas. Being a parent has helped me grow so much in my faith as I am challenged to explain things to my kids and to help them apply God's truths to their lives. Also helps me understand God's love for me when I consider how much I love my boys and want them to know and follow His Word.

  2. Great comments and focus on Christmas. One post I made a while back for my grandkids was I wonder if those shepherds were among the crowds who listened intently to Jesus 30 years later? The point is, are we focused on the baby Jesus in history or Jesus our Savior and Lord and His message of truth and life that He left with us? God bless Kari, and obviously MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family.

    • Thanks Mike. You are so right about the focus over a lifetime. So many people fail to finish strong because they lost this focus. Purpose to keep it! Have a great Christmas Coach. I have been enjoying reading your posts for your grandkids. Good chance my kids will be reading them too, so you're "adopting" a couple of grandkids in a sense.

  3. I hvae numerous books by Christian authors and now many wonderful blogs like your Kari to help me focus on what is really important. I love Chirstmas carols like Mary did u know and old traditional ones that focus on the true meaning of Chirstmas as well. You are so right that focusing on what is the true meaning helps keep away the negative feelings and attitudes. Looking forward to reading you on Everyday Awe!

    • I've been seeking out posts on Christmas and Advent too for my morning devotions and am finding a new perspective this Christmas. I have discovered that when I struggle with a positive perspective in an area, I need to trust others ideas and thoughts over my own. Thank goodness for godly people who can speak and write into my life at these times. I also love how the traditional Christmas songs can be praise songs too… that has started getting more into my spirit this year as well.

  4. I wonder sometimes why the expectation is that Christmas is all joyous. Certainly the first one was full of uncertainly and hardship and yes joy too all mixed together. I am sure some depression is caused because of the unrealistic expectation that all be wonderful during this season. Not much about life is wonderful all the time. We are celebrating our savior come to earth incarnate. The reality is that this event we celebrate is the first of our saviors life that was tough followed by many more tough times culminating in his death on the cross. We celebrate in a sense that he came to suffer. So I think we should temper our celebration in the remembrance of the great hardship and sacrifice that was to come. This joyous Christmas for us should be one where we recognize in praise and worship the sacrifice that was made for us and the joy that we can have when we claim that sacrifice for our own and the resultant gift of eternal life with God.

    You are most definitely right Kari that in order to do this joy we have got to focus on Jesus; that we honor Him with the joy that we have during this season. I love Christmas time and all the traditions around it. I struggle to put the proper perspective on it as times and I lose the knowledge that Christ came to suffer for us for our eternal benefit. May we do as you say and get this focus right.

    • Seems like the expectation is joyous because of the focus on Jesus and the big picture. As with life in general, there are struggles and sadness and even tragedy, but focus on Him and the ultimate reward brings joy amidst all of that. Remembering the sacrifice and hardship to come, I think, can be done even while experiencing joy sort of as an act of appreciation. Bottom line is that we need to focus on Him, let His joy be our strength, and continue our struggle through life, knowing that as we draw near to him, He draws near to us. And in that drawing, even while struggle and pain exists, we experience joy.

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