TREATING CHRISTMAS LIGHTLY?

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We are just a few days from Christmas and I’m amazed at how the Advent season has been so distracting.

Even with daily devotionals flooding our inbox from a variety of sources and taking time to attend a few concerts, worship services, and holiday parties, we’re adding all the additional shopping, wrapping, baking, and prepping to our daily routines.

The result: we’re worn out and once again we’ve treated Christmas lightly.

However, it’s not too late to reclaim a deeper look at the miraculous gift of the Incarnation. Here are some suggestions to consider:

 

  1. Read Luke 1 slowly, prayerfully, and reflectively for one leisurely hour, noting the key personalities surrounding the coming of Jesus.
  2. Read Luke 2:1-20 slowly, prayerfully, and reflectively for one spacious hour, noting each facet of the storyline with wonder and curiosity – as if you’ve never read the story before.
  3. Light the advent wreath or a single white candle, turn off the lights and prayerfully reflect on the gifts God has given to you in this season of life. Offer a breath prayer of thanksgiving each time you recount a blessing from God.
  4. Sit like a child in front of the manger scene or your adorned tree or another favorite decoration in your home and notice with joy the beauty of Advent and Christmas, recalling early memories of your most cherished childhood memories. Give thanks to the Lord for his kindness, love and mercy.
  5. Enjoy a favorite Christmas movie with family and friends. Pop some popcorn. Laugh and cry together. Be warmed and humored. Let joy reign in your heart.
  6. Be sure to enjoy mealtimes with family and friends without any technology at the table so you can be fully present with one another. Purpose to look one another in the eyes and give thanks for their role in your life. Give thanks together for God’s gift of presence in Jesus.
  7. Take a long walk in the woods or do a jigsaw puzzle or find some way to enjoy something opposite to your full-to-overflowing daily routines and which bring out your creative side. Notice the peace of Jesus as you relish the beauty all around you.

You know what treating Christmas lightly looks and feels like. So, this year let’s turn that upside down and fully embrace the gifts of Christmas offered to us in the miracle of the Christ child, the Incarnate One, born humbly in a stable, for you, his dearly beloved child.

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.