Don’t Forget to Invite the Honored Guest

Sharon JaynesChristmas Inspiration, Relationships 16 Comments

Every year, I search for Christmas poems, stories, and traditions that stir my soul and keep my focus on Jesus. Perhaps none has tugged my heartstrings like the treasure I am sharing with you today. It is a letter that could have been written by Mary. Join me now and let’s peek over Joseph’s shoulder as he reads this letter from his beloved.

I had a dream, Joseph. And I don’t understand it, not really. But I think it was about a birthday celebration for our Son. Well, I think that’s what it was about. People had been preparing for about six weeks. They had decorated their house, bought new clothes, gone shopping many times, and bought elaborate gifts. But it was peculiar though because you see, the gifts weren’t for our Son. They wrapped them in beautiful paper and tied them with lovely bows and stacked them under a tree. Yes! A tree, Joseph, right in their house. They decorated a tree.

The branches were full of glowing balls and sparkling ornaments. And there was a figure on top of the tree that looked something like what an angel might look like. Oh, it was so beautiful. Everyone was laughing and happy and all excited about the gifts. They gave gifts to each other, Joseph, not to our Son. I don’t even think they knew Him. They never mentioned His name. Doesn’t it seem odd for people to go to all that trouble to celebrate somebody’s birthday when they don’t even know Him. I had the strangest feeling that if our Son had gone to this celebration, He would have been intruding.

Everything was beautiful, Joseph. Everyone was full of cheer. But it made me want to cry. How sad for Jesus, not to be wanted at His own birthday celebration. I’m glad that it was only a dream. What if it were true?

What if it had been true? This story pierced my heart because in my home growing up, it was true. My childhood was a cauldron of violent arguments, alcohol inflamed fights, and long passages of passive aggressive silence. My parents were a mess, and their children were even messier.

Amazingly, the tension ratcheted up a notch at Christmas. Dad’s business associates gave him liquor in ornate bottles—alcohol that fueled his volatile anger. My mom went into a stressful frenzy to have a perfectly decorated home with mounds of gifts under the tree. I dreaded December…every year.

On Christmas morning, I tore into elegantly wrapped presents. Right now, I can’t even recall what five of them were.

What I really wanted was a little bit of that “Peace on Earth” we sang about in church. I longed for Emmanuel to bring some of that “Silent Night” into my chaotic life. I longed for a mommy and daddy who loved each other. What I didn’t care about was more stuff.

And then I had a child of my own. I held that squirmy bundle of love in my arms and made a commitment to keep Jesus the center of our home. That decision included keeping Christmas from becoming a stress-filled retail event and making sure it was a love-filled Christ-centered celebration.

Today’s Truth says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19 NIV). What were her treasures? A child in her arms. A shepherd’s visit. An angel’s proclamation. A deep-seated heart of gratitude. A promise made true.

These are treasures of Christmas. Jesus’ birthday is a reason to celebrate every day. This year let’s make sure to invite the honored guest to His birthday celebration.

Precious Jesus, forgive me for getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and forgetting why I’m doing this in the first place. Help me rein in the retail frenzy and keep You the focus of the holiday season. I can’t wait to honor You in my home this Christmas Day. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

What are three ways that you keep Jesus the focus of the holiday season? Click on comment and let’s share.

Here are three of mine.

  • At dinnertime, we pray for the people who send us Christmas Cards.
  • I have a collection of nativity sets from around the world and place them in various rooms.
  • We read Luke 2 and pray on Christmas morning before we open any gifts.

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A Sudden Glory Sharon Jaynes

Do you long for something more in your relationship with God. The good news is that “something more” does not mean “doing more.” Learn how to experience God’s presence right smack dab in the middle of your busy day in Sharon’s book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More.







© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 16

  1. This really touched me this morning as I read this. So often, so many times we fail to remember the real reason for our gifts under the tree. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 so I have been out of work since March 2020 and gifts at Christmas are few. I have been unable to purchase even for my grandchildren and we just do dirty Santa but this year Lord’s will I am going to start our celebration with presenting the real gift and the real reason we are celebrating to my family. Merry Christmas!

  2. I have an annual Christmas Eve dinner for my entire family and friends. Then go to midnight mass and candle lighting. Christmas day is usually a day of relaxing and reflecting. I’ve been single for 12 yrs now and my kids are all adults. So they all go visit thier other family members in Christmas day, and my grand daughters go to thier mom’s. This year I’m happy that Christmas day is on Sunday. I’m looking forward to going to Christmas mass with my youngest Son. ( his gf, left today to her mother’s birth place of Vietnam, where they will be for 3 weeks.)

  3. I grew up in a home with similar issues. Over the years I have tried to keep Christmas as a celebration of the birth of Jesus as the focus of day with my children. Then one day I was angry about people not celebrating the day as the day of Jesus birth. People complaining to be PC and other people complain about the birth and saying Merry Christmas. So I had to research the birth of Christ and the celebration in December.
    1. Christ was born in December he was born in the early fall.
    2. Winter solace was celebrated to honor the Sun god. So, the Roman Catholic’s wanted in on the celebration, so they decided to make it the celebration of the Son of God birth.
    3. Nowhere in the Bible does it say we are to celebrate the birth of Christ.
    I agree that we are to honor His birth every day not just around December but throughout the entire year. So, I’m still struggling with the whole idea of Christmas. I’m leaning to the celebration of Hanukkah that is more Biblical for this time of year.
    Thank you always for sharing your story’s and bring God’s word to my emails.

  4. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve often wondered the same thing as Mary and I feel it’s even more true in our culture now as we see more and more turning away from God. I wonder if they even think about what Christmas actually means.
    As for us, like you Sharon, I have a couple nativities that I have set up and one is front and center for all to see who come into my house.
    I also try and pick something to read about the true meaning of Christmas before we dive into gift opening.
    I also play Christian Christmas music all of December while I’m decorating or baking or wrapping gifts.

  5. I love this! It’s never too late to begin reminding everyone about why we celebrate Christmas! We have a blended family with some proclaimed nonbelievers – grown children who are choosing not to follow the Lord. As a result, our grandchildren are not learning about Jesus, except when we try to share with them. Please Pray that we will be bold to bring the name of Jesus – the reason for our celebration – to our Christmas gathering on 12-11. And that in the Mighty name of Jesus, He would be well received! Thank you! Merry Christmas!

    1. I will pray for your celebration on 12/11 and for you to be bold Debbie! Our children and children’s children need Jesus!! I remember when my 4 year son sat in church and decided he wanted to accept Jesus into his heart. The gospel of Jesus is so simple that even a child can receive it. I pray your grown adults have a heart change.

  6. Thank you for this. It you hed my heart. I recently experienced my dream trip to Israel and Jordan. However my mother died days before that trip. I’ve been tending to her estate and have not been able to grasp the joy of the season way that I have enough years. Reading your story this morning gave me a fresh lift and I just wanted to thank you. God is good. Emmanuel. With me. Praise His name. I thank Him for His mercy and perfect timing.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this! I love it!! I will definitely share it. I try to keep Jesus at the center of Christmas by doing an advent devotional every evening as a family, we also read a chapter from Luke every night since there are 24 chapters. We started this 2 years ago and I love it!

  8. Thank you for sharing this story. So true.. I agree we should celebrate Jesus’ presence every day.
    I had a thought yesterday out of the blue.. How can we celebrate Jesus birthday on a specific day if the truth is He has no begining and no end.. Christmas is good since it is always an opportunity to speak and testify about love of God and His forgiveness.
    Thank you, Sharon. God bless you, Dorota

  9. You know I never actually focus on Jesus on his birthday. To me Christmas is about family and opening gifts and going out to eat at a restaurant. But I never get to live it out. When I became a Christian, Christmas meant going to church and being with my sisters and brothers in Christ worshiping Jesus and remembering His birth and just reflecting on how He is the best gift I’ve ever had. I feel shame because in reality I never really did focus on Jesus. It seems like I just go with the flow on Christmas. I try to watch Hallmark Christmas movie’s and think of baking cookies but never get to and eating out at restaurants.

    Sharon, I thank you for sharing this article. That letter from Mary to Joseph really made me cringe with shame because I’m guilty of all those. It really made me think of how I can better serve Jesus and focus on him. Not just on the activities. I feel so bad and shallow. I hope not to disappoint Jesus this Christmas. And I’m so grateful for this piece. Thank you thank you. It really made me do and want to do a reality check.

  10. Thank you! I’m being intentional about Christmas being a celebration of Jesus’ birth and not getting so tangled into the secular mess. This is an encouragement!

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