My children are sitting in the living room as I write this, excitedly making a list of various gifts they are hoping for. Whether Christmas or Hanukkah, this season isn’t just a time for gift-giving; it is also a time for renewal and peace. It is about preparing our homes and our hearts, not just for a season but for the reason for the season. The greatest gift we will ever receive.
The Bible tells us that there is a right way. I sometimes struggle to remember that the act of sincerely doing right is an act of the heart. Sometimes I think we take comfort in simply doing the “right thing,” all the while with the wrong reasons. We go through the motions doing what we have always done, and then one day we wonder – perhaps there is more that the Lord has for us.
Consider the Pharisees who, Jesus said, were clean on the outside but inside were so very dirty. Could that be our own situation? Are the traditions and routines we keep done with His heart and mind? We cannot just do what we have always done. If Jesus is not with us, perhaps all we do is simply vanity.
We are called to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength. I do believe that this is the key to everything else. When we love God with all that we have and are, our life will be full to the overflow and all we do will be salt and light. Are we showing Jesus in the things we do?
It is with all of this in mind that my family and I consider, what are we to do? How do we best honor Him? Hanukkah is a time of rededication, purifying the temple. Today, we are that temple.
This year has been one of coming home. Of learning to simply be. Searching for truth and goodness even in the darkness. Being still and knowing that He is God. He is in control. In times like this we must remember that if it were not for the darkness there would be no opportunity to see the stars shine.
So what are we doing right now? To fight sorrow and bitterness, to combat these hearts that are hurting and lost? When we feel isolated and so alone we remember, God is with us and all things work for good to those called according to His purpose. We pray for strength and for wisdom. We reach out to one another and we offer a smile and a kind word (because we can because we are not wearing masks). Gentle eyes and a smile can go a long way in making someone’s day just a little bit better. Let us be intentional about reaching out and showing the love of Christ that is within us.
Count your blessings: 1, 2, 3. Remember all that He has done for you – there is so much power in our testimony. So perhaps today, let’s go back, spend some time remembering and telling all of those answered prayers. What a beautiful way to increase our faith and open our eyes to see the many blessings that perhaps we have too long ignored or taken for granted. Look what the Lord has done.
This year has tested us in many ways; we have been challenged to be more creative, more determined. Perhaps this season has taught us not just how to be content in all things but also how to be intentional. In this season when we are remembering miracles and hope, celebrating joy and peace, we must determine to do all things for Christ. We must happily feel after Him – He is with us – this season, let’s determine to taste and see that the Lord is good.
We can celebrate the season with true joy when we have searched our hearts and aligned them with His. We can then come into His presence with singing and rejoicing knowing that our hope is truly in Him.
Let us together pray;
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face
shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace. ”
Thank you to Jennifer @ A “Peace” of Mind for this article!
- Week one – Harvest Home Decor
- Week two – Giving Thanks
- Week three – Family Traditions
- Week four – Preparing our Hearts for December
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