Bringing Christ into the centre of my Christmas

Several years ago around Christmas time, I was having a coffee with a close friend and she asked me what we were doing for Christmas. I shared how we were going to be getting together with extended family and that I had a real sense that one of the family member’s who has an issue with manipulation and control was going to create a scene and get angry at someone.

My friend looked at me and ‘gently’ rebuked me. “Jane, you are always challenging people to watch what they say as your words come true. What you put out there into the atmosphere, what you say, then has power and will come true. I think you should change what you are saying and be an atmosphere changer with your extended family.”

Ouch – that really struck me and made me think. Yes. I 100% believe that there is power in our words and we can speak life or death into situations. I had been speaking death and destruction into our Christmas day and I needed to take responsibility to see that peace would reign.

Is there anything you are not looking forward to about this Christmas? Is there anyone whom you are dreading the interaction with? Sometimes Christmas can be so stressful and something we are not looking forward to, yet as Christians we are meant to be celebrating the birth of our Saviour? Below, I have highlighted some questions to ask yourself.

1. Am I creating an idol out of Christmas with my expectations?

  • Do I have to have the house perfect?
  • Do I need to give (and receive) the perfect present?
  • Are my emotional needs being ‘filled’ or ‘unmet’ by expectations surrounding the perfect Christmas when God should really be taking that place?
  • Am I creating an ‘idol’ out of Christmas with my expectations of the ‘perfect’ Christmas?
  • Is there a lie I’m believing about having the ‘perfect’ Christmas?

2. How am I spending my time, energy, money and thought life?

  • Is too much time, energy and money being spent on insignificant things?
  • Am I overthinking situations and creating a bigger problem in my mind?
  • Am I spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about what to buy for people?
  • Have I fallen into the trap of people-pleasing?

3. What am I speaking into the atmosphere?

  • Are my words full of life?
  • Am I expecting negative things to happen?
  • Am I vocalising my negative thoughts and expectations?

4. How am I communicating Christ’s love, peace, joy and power?

  • What is flowing from my relationship with God?
  • How am I loving my extended family, those who require ‘extra time’, and those who supposedly can’t give me anything in return?
  • Are people attracted to the God within me?

5. How am I prophetically encouraging people this Christmas?

  • What do the presents I am giving communicate?
  • What have I written in cards to prophetically encourage others?
  • What message do my Christmas decorations communicate?
  • How have I extended myself with acts of kindness this week?
  • How am I making space and time for Jesus at the moment?

This Christmas, why don’t you resolve to be the change you so desperately desire within your family and community. Below I have listed five ways of doing this.

1. Be an atmosphere changer

  • When you come up against someone who is angry or manipulative or a control freak, quietly change the atmosphere by saying something similar to “I see you, spirit of manipulation and control. I choose not to partner with you and instead release freedom.”
  • A few months ago, I taught a group of children this by saying “Go manipulation. Come freedom.” The change is incredible.

2. Watch your words

  • Be careful what you say and how you frame it.
  • Speak life into every situation.
  • Be an encourager.

3. Realise what you can and cannot change and what you can bring to the situation.

  • Prepare some prophetic words to give to people that will encourage, comfort and strengthen them.
  • Be on the look out for how you can encourage everyone you meet, whether by a smile, a few words, an action etc.
  • Take time to look out for the lonely, the people left out, the refugee, the unloved, the grieving, the ‘prisoner’ (whether in actual prison or a prisoner in their feelings), the person who can’t look you in the eye. Ask God what you can do or say to show love and to communicate to them that they are important and that you notice them.

4. Do something just for the heck of it.

  • Have fun.
  • Do something with wild abandon.
  • Laugh out aloud.

5. Spend some quality time with God

This Christmas, may you know and feel the love that Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus all have for you and may you be a blessing to those you meet and spend time with.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation:  Bake some gingerbread biscuits and decorate them prophetically with a design or a word and give them away.

2. Group Activation: Ask each group member to buy a prophetic Christmas decoration for another group member and to prophesy over that person using the decoration as the base for the prophecy.

3. Beginner Activation: Buy a Christmas decoration for yourself that prophesies into your future.

4. Intermediate Activation: Grab a bottle of hand sanitiser and spend some time looking at it. Ask God to speak to you through what you see. How does it apply to your life? What does God want to say to you through it?

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight a major socio-political issue impacting your area/country at the moment eg in Victoria, it is the conversion therapy act trying to be passed through Government at the moment. Spend time with God hearing His heart on the matter and prophesy into it, declaring out aloud the future as God desires.