I write these words with hopeful anticipation.
Not for all the awesome ideas from the bloggers in this Christmas series that you’ll be seeing over the next 24 days or so.
But because of the potential here—a potential for a great returning back to what this holiday season can mean for homeschool families.
One point I want to make clear: this series is not about asking you to do more.
It is also not asking you to give up your time-honored family traditions.
Nor is it’s purpose to make you feel guilty for what traditions you may not be doing.
It is simply to say—in the voice of each family represented by each blogger—this is how our family will use the next 5 weeks to allow us to focus back to the true life found only in Christ.
These families are saying that Christmas provides so many valuable, much-needed lessons outside the school books… and they’re desiring to dig in and discover those rich treasures.
In short, this series is a call for families to discover the true definition of God’s love at Christmas.
And there are no two families that will do that in the same way.
I do want to caution us (myself being the first in line here) on a critical aspect of this discovery of Christmas love. This caution can be best summarized in 1 Corinthians 13:1-7:
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Our Christmas activities—even our well-intentioned, Pinterest-worthy ones—are empty and meaningless if they are not in every shape and form about honoring Jesus.
That means that I could put together the most beautiful craft project for my kids… and yet, if I am a insufferable, inflexible grouch during the project (“No, we can only do it this way and in this timeframe, kids!!”) then the entire experience is meaningless!
Better to step back and let the project just come together (misplaced shepherds in the manager scene and all) or even to stop the project if it cannot be done in a calm, honoring manner to God and to each other (please know that I am speaking to myself on this one).
What are we really trying to communicate in this season anyway? That more activities and more stuff is better (no matter how much those activities or things may drain our time, energy and resources)?
Instead, what if we simply stuck to a few core, meaningful activities… and did those with great meaning, calm spirits and loving intention? Wouldn’t this (at least attempt to) communicate the depth and height of God’s great love—a message that the world is very open to hearing at Christmastime?
Christmas doesn’t have to be a season of busy-ness but instead a season when we let His business rule in our hearts. A time when we drop our own agendas, slow things down a bit and let His Spirit lead us on a wondrous discovery of His love through the story of the birth of His Son, Jesus.
None of us can or ever will perfectly do any of the activities we’ll mention. We will mess up this season in one way or another.
And yet, even this imperfection points us back to what the manger so clearly reveals: We are all sinners in desperate need of a Savior.
Therefore, it’s my prayer that each of these posts would give you practical tools and examples of just a few ways that we can guide our families on a discovery of Christmas love. Read each one prayerfully, asking God if this is one avenue He wants to use to lead you closer to Him this Christmas.
I leave you with Hebrews 12:28, which I read this morning afresh with Thanksgiving a week away and the Christmas story in mind:
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.
Yes, let us bow down and worship Him anew this Christmas season. And may many be blessed and encouraged when they see His light—His true, unmistakable love—shining in our hearts.
Resting In The Unsurpassed Love of Christ,