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3 playful ways to connect to Jesus while you're doing your crazy Christmas thing


It's almost December. The temperatures have dropped, only half of the presents are bought, and none of them are wrapped. The stockings are not hung by the chimney with care, but instead are spilling out of the box sitting in the middle of the living room, half-unpacked. And the tree...well, it's happily sitting in the tree lot on the other side of town because you haven't had a chance to buy it yet.

As for quieting your heart to prepare for the birth of Jesus...well, let's just say it's on your list of things to do. And yes--talking about it does make you feel guilty, thank you very much.

Dear reader--relax. We have three delightfully fun ideas for you to invite Jesus right into your crazy Christmas thing. These ideas (from the Jesus-loving mind of author Rick Lawrence) will inject playfulness and a little adventure into the next few weeks leading up to Christmas. Try one or all of them and let us know what you think.

3 fun ways to connect to Jesus this Christmas

1. The gift bag

Before you hit the mall, Target, or local boutique, grab an empty gift bag with tissue paper. In the stores, keep your eyes open for one of those cool "stocking stuffer" items they keep near the cash register or on a table display and buy it. Then wrap it with your tissue paper and put it in the gift bag. Once wrapped, pray this quick, simple prayer:

Hi, Jesus--who can I give this to?

Of course we can't predict what he'll say, but maybe he'll tell you to leave the bag on the table in the food court or to give it to a cashier. Keep your heart open and follow his lead.

2. Word of the day

No--this isn't a vocabulary exercise, promise; it's a way to thank Jesus for who he is. Here's what you do: every morning, pick a word that describes who Jesus is to you. Examples could be "tender" or "risky" or "surprising." Then make a point to remember that word throughout the day and thank him for this quality every time. Repeat this process until Christmas by asking for a new word each day.

3. Puddle jumping

Start this simple Bible-reading prompt by asking Jesus to put the name of one of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) into your mind, alone with a chapter and a verse (ex. Luke 8:18). Then find the verse, read it, and spend the day thinking about what it's saying about who Jesus is and what it can tell us about his heart.

If the verse you hear doesn't exist, don't get stressed. Just laugh it off, ask Jesus for another verse, and try again. Then chew on that verse for the day, asking for insight and revelation.

Rick reminds us that these three micro-connections do two things: they encourage us to be dependent on Jesus by inviting us to listen and follow his lead. And they give us a chance to participate with him as he reveals more of himself to us and to others during this sacred season of celebration. Plus they're fun and might lead you into a few delightfully surprising and unexpected encounters.

Let us know what happens!

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