I’m not sure I ever told you all this, but I do most of my writing in the early hours of the day. I’ve always been an early riser and during the Christmas season that is especially true. I even have the timer on the Christmas tree set to come on twice a day, at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. If my fireplace had a timer, I’d probably set that on the same schedule.
I love the lights of Christmas, but I love them the most in the early morning hours.
I might have been a psalmist
I often wake up thinking about the Lord . . . (and coffee.) I love that the lights on my Christmas tree light the way to the kitchen and the coffee pot. My computer enables me to read Scripture and prayer lists and to write blog posts while I sit in the darkness and enjoy the beauty of the Christmas lights. For me, these moments are a favorite celebration of the holiday.
The Bible says quite a bit about the morning hours and the importance of using the morning to start our day with God. We are supposed to walk through our day with him, but that’s easier to do if we share the first part of the day at his feet. Jesus got up early in the morning to spend time with his Father. He is the perfect example of how we should begin our days too.
The psalmists said a lot about seeking God in the morning. I am typing this blog post in the early darkness of the morning while enjoying their ancient wisdom for keeping life filled with God. As this Christmas season begins, let’s allow their wisdom to touch our lives and holiday season this year.
God is our audience of One
Psalm 5:3 says, “O Lᴏʀᴅ, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” The quiet beauty of morning is the perfect time to talk to God. The Creator God of the universe is listening to you—right now.
What amount of time and attention will you give to your Father this morning? What activity can wait until you have spoken to him? We will likely sacrifice a few of our plans for the day if we ask God to plan the day for us.
Your Christmas season will be different if you will give God your voice in the morning, prepare to listen, and then watch for his answers throughout the day.
Trust God to lift you up
Sometimes I wake up thinking about a long list of activities for the day. One of my favorite things about growing older is that more and more of my schedule is optional. I well remember the rush of keeping kids on their schedules while planning the rest of my life around theirs.
Those were great days, but there is a serenity to these days that is pure joy too. The great goal for this Christmas season is to live it on God’s schedule. Psalm 143:8 says, “Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”
People will always matter more than plans. People sometimes fit into our schedule, and sometimes they will need to interrupt it. We can trust God to guide us and strengthen us to serve him by serving others.
Every morning’s sunrise is a reminder of God’s steadfast love. He has given us another day, and he has a trustworthy plan for how we can live it well. How can we carefully walk his plan for today?
We hear from him in the morning, and we trust his voice, his word. It is to God we lift up our souls. God wants to do more than direct our activity. He wants to provide for our joy and our strength and give us his love and compassion for others.
This Christmas season will be different if we lift up our souls to God and trust him to fill us with his goodness.
We can be satisfied with God
The Christmas season can pull and tug us in many different directions. There have been some holiday seasons that lacked the genuine Christmas joy. So much of our expectations and wishes for the holiday are authored by movies, social media, and the lives of others. The genuine joy of Christmas will come from the moments you spend with Christ and the moments you spend serving others in his name.
In the early morning, it is only about your relationship with the Lord. The psalmist wrote, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:14). The joy and beauty of the season are in the genuine celebrations of his blessings.
God will satisfy us this Christmas season with his love. We need only give him our worship. His “steadfast love” will be the joy of each day and our great blessing for the holiday.
Joy comes in the morning
Psalm 30:5 is rarely quoted fully yet is a perfect message for us to begin our Christmas season considering. We often hear the phrase “joy comes with the morning” but rarely do we hear why that matters.
No Christmas season is perfect. No Christmas season is lived in a flawless fashion. We are human beings surrounded by other human beings. Traffic is tough. People are edgy and rushed. Gifts are sometimes hard to come by and difficult to afford.
Some parties are fun while others are an obligation. Sometimes the lights on the tree stop glowing and need a new bulb to work again. There will be a few moments this Christmas season that don’t inspire the “fa la la” in us! Sometimes anger is justified, but often it is simply a natural, human response to stressful situations. It’s then our goal to return to a right relationship with God.
Psalm 30:5 is our gift of wisdom for those times. God’s anger is always righteous, but his example is the perfect one for us to follow as well. The psalmist wrote, “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5). God doesn’t hold onto his anger, and we shouldn’t either. We can seek God’s favor, knowing it is our promised gift of Christmas.
Let’s schedule this Christmas with God
Each new morning is a chance to sit with our audience of One and seek his voice. We can trust our heavenly Father to forgive our mistakes and lift us up for the new day. We can count our blessings and be satisfied with the genuine joy of the Lord each day. We can rush through a day or two and trust that the Lord will guide us back to a quiet morning with him.
Joy comes in the morning. Will you give your Christmas mornings to the One who authors our joy? Will you do the same tomorrow?