Hi there. Are you Christian? Cool, me too. American? That makes two of us. Interested in growing closer to God? But of course!
Want to bring Christ back into Christmas?*
Well have I got a challenge for you...
This Christmas day (that's December 25th) give up your gifts and your morning. Would you join me? My wife and I have committed to a.) asking loved ones to buy gifts for others instead of buying for us. b.) spending Christmas morning with those who need to know how much Christ loves them.
I'm all for giving presents. It is important to show people we love them. Please, if you care for your kids, make sure they know it. If you care about your siblings, make sure they know it. If you care about your spouse, make sure they know it.
But in the same vein, if you care about your Jesus, make sure he knows it. If you'd buy your kid a huge LEGO set to make sure he knows he is loved, why wouldn't you buy Jesus something to show how much you love him? The cool thing about Jesus is that if you ask him how to show your gratitude and love for him he'll ask you to take care of his sheep (note: not your sheep, his).
This works two ways. Obviously you not only want to show people you love them, but others want to show you how much you are loved. Tell your loved ones that the best way they can love you is to buy something for someone else who NEEDS some love. Do you really need that iPad? Does that bling really change things? One more gadget for your pile doesn't compare to helping give someone clean drinking water.
I'm sorry, it just doesn't. In the very least ask your loved ones to not buy you anything and they can keep their money and spend it on something they need, yeah?
It's a win win win. You look more like Jesus, you save some closet space, and someone else receives the joy of Christmas. More Christ in Christmas.
I'm all for enjoying time with family. Our greatest blessings in life are usually those people who make us who we are. Actually, God has provided us the wonderful blessing of Sabbath. One day a week we spend time with family and with God and remember the world will not fall apart if we cease activity.
Christmas is a wonderful time for being with loved ones but it is not a Sabbath. Jesus came to bring peace and joy... right? For some, that means Christmas joy is peace and quiet. This attitude comes from a lack of Sabbath, not the rigors of the modern work schedule/family. For Jesus, I'm pretty sure the coming of the Son meant more activity - not less. It's his birthday, after all. You know how much babies impress themselves upon you? Yeah. Christmas should be like that. A screaming, smelly, hungry baby impressing himself upon the world.
Celebrate your Christmas together, just not on Christmas morning :) Plenty of families celebrate Christmas at other times to accommodate split families or traveling issues. Why not do the same with God's family. And no, I'm not talking about going to Church on Christmas - I mean going after those people who don't know Jesus loves them. Sometimes they don't know it because they are hungry. Sometimes they don't know it because they've been pushed out of the church. Sometimes they don't know it because they can't afford to show their own children the love they have for them. You can do it, I know you can. It's why Jesus brought you to this blog. :) More Christ in Christmas.
Better yet, make it a two-for-one deal. Go as a family to be with Jesus' lost sheep.
If you want to bring Christ back into Christmas, let's give Jesus the very things that are making Christmas so un-Christ-like.
* - Last Sunday I preached about how I'm more concerned about celebrating Advent than Christmas. You can watch it here. Christmas is Jesus' birthday, not yours. I'm pretty sure I know what he wants. Let's give it to him. Don't do it because you'll feel guilty if you don't; do it because you love him. Either way, he loves you more than you could possibly know. In fact... his birth was for you, not himself. How cool is that?