Saturday, November 26, 2022

Why Advent?

Why Advent?  2nd of 3 Intro to Advent posts

In 2014, The Gospel Coalition posted an article “Three Christmas Pitfalls for Parents” - This article has served as a good reminder for me of lessons we can learn and re-learn during the very busy time leading up to Christmas.

I want to encourage you to read the entire article and at the same time here are the three pitfalls along with some key ideas from each pitfall and a modified version of #2 and #3 in parentheses to make them applicable for everyone, not only parents.

Three Christmas Pitfalls for Parents

Pitfall 1: How can I keep the world from hijacking Christmas?

The world doesn't define our celebration; we do, in obedience to God. 

We explain which elements of our celebration are simply fun, which are culturally significant, and which specifically celebrate Christ.  Instead of fearing the world, teach your children to engage culturally for the spread of the gospel.

Pitfall 2: Why should I give my kids gifts when they don’t need or deserve them?  (Why should I even bother with gifts during this consumeristic Christmas season?)

God gave us the gift of Christ—his birth, his death, and his resurrection—by grace. All gifts we place under the tree should be given in the same manner we’ve received Christ: freely.

Give gifts in an effort to cultivate a worshipful longing for Christ’s return.

Pitfall 3: How do I teach my kids to love Jesus more than Christmas presents?  (How can I help myself and others love Jesus more than Christmas presents?)

Because God gave us the greatest gift of love through Jesus, we can love our children by teaching them though gifts are fun, the joy they provide is temporary.  Salvation is the only gift that will eternally satisfy our longings. Don’t shame your children when you sense their greed; teach them. 

If you are tempted to make wild changes to your Christmas giving (scrapping all presents), pause. Realize you can’t shock children into godliness. 

Tomorrow’s post is about how and why we are being intentional about Advent in 2022.

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