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Experiencing Rest This Christmas

December 5, 2023

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28
December is one of the busiest months of the year. There is always something to do - decorating, shopping, wrapping, mailing Christmas cards, parties, concerts, kids’ events, cooking, cleaning, hosting, traveling, family gatherings, and more. All of these things are good, but can leave us rushing through Christmas exhausted.

Is there a better way?

The tension of busyness is not a new problem. The Gospel of Luke includes the story of Mary and Martha, two sisters who hosted a dinner for Jesus and his disciples. When they welcomed Jesus into their home, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to His teaching, “but Martha was distracted with much serving,” (Luke 10:40). In her frustration, Martha asked Jesus to intervene on her behalf and encourage Mary to help her serve the large group of people. Jesus responded in an unexpected way. He said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her," (Luke 10:41-42). In all of her serving and busyness, Martha was missing the necessary, good portion- time with Jesus. The problem wasn't Martha's service. The problem was she was prioritizing service over time with Jesus.

Thank you for serving the Lord as a Growth Group leader! What you are doing is good and it pleases the Lord - but not if it’s at the detriment of spending time with Jesus.

There are many great opportunities in December to connect in community (Women’s Christmas Brunch), to serve others (A Care Center Christmas), and to worship the Lord this month (Christmas worship each Sunday), but let’s not forget to be intentional about spending personal time with Jesus. Serving Jesus and spending time with Jesus is not either/or, but both/and.

Spending time with Jesus looks different for each person. Perhaps this is a regular routine for you or perhaps this is an area of neglect. Wherever you are, commit afresh to spend time with Jesus this month, even in the midst of a busy Christmas season.

What if you made a commitment to read the Word before you picked up your cellphone in the morning? What if you limited your television time this month? What if you were intentional to find moments of silence and solitude every day?

There are many wonderful Christmas worship songs (beyond the fun Christmas songs). In fact, Highpoint Collective is releasing four songs on Friday on Spotify and iTunes. Reread the Christmas or one of the Gospels. Journal your prayers to the Lord. Take a daily walk outdoors to get fresh air and pray.

How you spend time with Jesus is less important than that you spend time with Jesus. Spending time with Jesus more than reading the Bible and praying, it’s about experiencing fellowship with Jesus. What can you to do to not rush through this Christmas season but instead take moments to be with Jesus, the One we celebrate in this season?