|Mike Hosey, An Elder|
Christmas season can be a maze of priorities. Knowing what is fundamental will help you navigate that maze.
Priorities and fundamentals are completely intertwined. In fact, they are so much intertwined that fundamentals are always priorities, and priorities should never be made at the expense of fundamentals. By definition, priorities are those things that are more important than other things. If you are starving, food takes priority over entertainment. Fundamentals are those things that are foundational. Being able to hit, catch, throw and run are fundamentals to baseball. You cannot play the game unless you have mastered those fundamentals. To be a good baseball player means prioritizing practice in order to master those fundamentals. It would be silly to prioritize learning the catcher’s hand signals if you haven’t mastered pitching, catching, hitting, or running!
Serving God is a fundamental of the Christian faith (1 Samuel 12:24, Colossians 3:23-24), and enjoying him should be a priority (Philippians 3:1, Philippians 4:4, 1 Thessalonians 5:16). The two are entwined in such a way that once one has mastered service to God, enjoying him becomes a natural priority.
Matthew 6:24 teaches us that we cannot serve two masters. If we try to do that, we will end up hating one and loving the other. If during Christmas season you find that you are stressed beyond belief, take the time to ask yourself which master are you serving, and what exactly are you trying to enjoy?
We live in a world that tells us to prioritize all the wrong things, and to serve all the wrong things. The reason for the season is Jesus Christ, and his birth into our broken world. So that means celebrating Jesus is the fundamental of the season, and not gifts for the sake of gifts, parties for the sake of parties, stress, shopping, or financial debt. Therefore make Jesus the priority and he will give you rest. His yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).