Summary: Retailers have been into Christmas since August! How do we as Christians transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas?



Psalm 100:1-5

1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.


The rule of thumb in my household is that we don’t start getting ready for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I like to take my holidays one at a time. I am not holding anything against those who have been ready for months, but you may have a problem. You may be addicted to Christmas which can result in Christmasitis. Well, if you are in doubt about this, I have come up with a test which can help you determine if you have contracted this disease. Give yourself a point for every question you answer yes to.

1. Do you have more than five giant inflatable lawn decorations?

2. Did you buy any of this year’s Christmas presents at the after Christmas sales last year?

3. Do you leave your Christmas lights up all year and try to pass them off as lights to celebrate other holidays?

4. Have you ever bought an artificial tree because real ones don’t last for three months?

5. Do you rent or own a shed or storage unit because you have more decorations than your house can hold?

How do we as Christians transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas?


1) Shout for Joy!

Psalm 100:1

1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.


Let your thankful heart intensify as Christmas approaches.

Let your joy become Holy Wonder. How can you engage in holy wonder? You stop! Pausing for praise in the midst of the craziness of Advent is the best thing you can do. You cannot engage your mind and heart in holy wonder without slowing down.

Typical of last minute Christmas shoppers, a mother was running furiously from store to store. Suddenly she became aware that the pudgy little hand of her three year old son was no longer clutched in hers. In a panic she retraced her steps and found him standing with his little nose pressed flatly against a frosty window. He was gazing at a manger scene. Hearing his mother’s near hysterical call, he turned and shouted with innocent glee: "look mommy! it’s Jesus - baby Jesus in the hay". With obvious indifference to his joy and wonder, she impatiently jerked him away saying, "we don’t have time for that!"

In the middle of your shopping, sit down, and read the Christmas story. Maybe that means you gather your children around a Nativity scene each night and unwrap a different piece and talk about the role it plays in the Christmas story. Maybe that means you wake up early one morning and find a place you can watch the sun rise as you meditate on Luke 1:78-79.

Luke 1:78-79

78 Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;

79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."


The work of holy wonder is treasuring and pondering the fact that God invaded planet Earth on a perilous rescue mission. Amidst all the activity, stop and treasure all these things. Ponder them in your heart. Engage in some holy wonder.

2) Serve the Lord with gladness!

Psalm 100:2

2 Serve the LORD with gladness.


Jesus started in heaven and came down to earth, in flesh, as a servant, submitting to death. We sometimes think of Christmas as a tame holiday. We think of sweet little baby Jesus asleep on a bed of hay. Everyone loves that because it’s so innocuous and safe. But

Christmas isn’t safe! That baby is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He has come to usher in a kingdom that rivals the kingdom of self. That’s threatening. He bids those who would follow him to take up their cross daily—to lay aside our own right to rule ourselves, to surrender to his rule.

The world loves to celebrate the birth of Christ, but they hate to obey him as the Lord of their lives. Everyone wants to keep Christ in the manger. But the manger is meaningless apart from the Cross. As one writer put it many years ago:

“This little babe, so few days old, is come to rifle Satan’s fold;

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