Last year, as we were headed to my sister’s house on Christmas Eve, my husband and I picked up a few last-minute items at a large grocery store. My musings on the variety of shoppers populating the store on this special night turned to dismay when I headed past an aisle where Christmas items had been stocked only days earlier. Gone were the splashes of green and red. Now pink and red heart-shaped items for Valentine’s Day filled the shelves.

Christmas had not yet arrived, but it was already gone.

Stripped of its marketing strategy, the retail makeover revealed to me the human desire for more—whether it’s more money or the drive to make holidays bigger and better. While I understand that this is the nature of a consumer-driven society, I can’t help but wonder what it reveals about the human heart. How quickly secondary things can steal our attention! And we lose the ability to be in awe of something—or better yet, Someone (Luke 2:11).

Rich with detail, the record of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:1-16) reveals to us a central truth: We’re called to worship Jesus—the Messiah who came to save us. Granted, we can’t always slow down the events of life, but our worship shouldn’t be based on our external circumstances. It should be based in what God has done and the glory of His Son. May we follow the shepherds’ example and glorify and praise God this Christmas: “The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen” (Luke 2:20).

In this most precious time of year, let’s be mindful to let the Holy Spirit lead our celebrations; let’s not move to the rhythms of the world. The Savior of all mankind is worthy of our full worship.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Philippians 2:1-18