let's intentionally cultivate biblical joy in the last few days leading up to Christmas Day!
On Sunday just gone we focused on the Carol, "Joy To The World." We talked of biblical joy, and what it means. Today, I want to simply encourage us with some ideas on how to cultivate more joy leading up to Christmas Day this coming Saturday.
If you're anything like me it's helpful to have some ideas listed before you to consider what you might do for yourself. So I've written a list of 8 different ways you can cultivate more joy below:
Put a playlist together of your favourite Christmas carols, and play them as you get yourself ready for Christmas in the various ways we do.
Take time out to write out a list of experiences, opportunities and lessons you can thank God for from the year that has been. Set yourself a challenge - get to 10 (and then watch as you can't stop yourself).
Share any of these listed experiences with your spouse, a friend, or someone else as you spend time together at dinner, at Christmas parties, or other catch-ups.
Take time to imaginatively read one of the of the more well known passages of scripture that recount the birth of Jesus Christ. You will find these accounts in the first few chapters of Matthew and Luke in particular. And when I say imaginatively, read from a certain perspective within the text - read the text thinking from Mary's perspective, or Joseph's perspective. Ask yourself - what do I discover about who God is out of this imaginative reading?
Add an extra gift or two onto your gift buying list - think of someone who you are thankful for, who has blessed you, but who you would not otherwise get a gift for. And just give them the joy of being appreciated and blessed.
Think of someone who might find this Christmas time harder than normal, and make some time for them - take them out for lunch, or buy them a coffee, or just give them a call with some spare time to chat.
Hold onto the traditions that have been handed down to you. Food traditions, gathering traditions, gift-giving traditions, carolling together traditions. Whatever they may be, practicing what we have practiced since our early years brings back fond memories, connects us to our meaningful past, and gives us a sense of history and heritage to carry forward.
If you don't have traditions, start to make them - yes traditions of food and people, but also traditions of telling God's story to one another, and sharing in the joys of the birth of Christ.
There you go. There's many more ways to cultivate joy, I am sure. But here's 8 different ideas to get you started or inspire you afresh to cultivate joy this week leading up to Christmas.
Written by Ps. Rob.