I LOVE Christmas. Everything about it. The tree, the decorations, the movies, the music, the smells, the matching pajamas, the themed coffees and desserts. There is not ONE thing about Christmas that I don’t absolutely adore. But each year, as I get “wrapped” up in all of the festivities (wrapped, get it?), it can be hard to very intentionally keep in front of me the real reason that we celebrate.
Don’t get me wrong, all of the beautiful things that go with Christmas are so lovely, and meant to be enjoyed, but if we’re not keeping Christ at the heart of everything we do and celebrate, it’s futile.
In the last several years, the trend of “Christmas in July” has gained momentum, and I have to tell you, I love it. During the part of the year where the heat is unbearable, the lull between Holidays is long, and summer break is in full swing, it’s so nice to have a mini celebration of the most wonderful time of the year. But as I’ve enjoyed the couple of Christmas decorations I put up, sipped my gingerbread coffee, and watched A Christmas Story, the Lord reminded me that the time of the year to celebrate Him and what He did for us is all year round.
So, because I need the reminder every single day that God sent us His one and only son, through a miracle, as a precious baby to save our world and allow us to have a relationship with Him, here is the Christmas Story (in July):
Luke 2: In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
So today, my challenge to you is this: find a time to celebrate Christmas in July! But don’t stop with your favorite holiday movie or a peppermint mocha. Take this moment to read the Christmas story, asking the Lord to remind you of His kindness, His faithfulness, His overwhelming love for us. Ask Him to show you something new about a story we’ve heard a hundred times, even though it's the middle of summer.
I hope you have a sweet time celebrating the holiday and our precious Savior today! Merry Christmas (in July)!
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