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That Christmas Feeling
So what does it take to put you in the Christmas spirit? Many people have said something like, “without snow on the ground I just can’t get into the Christmas spirit – will have to scramble to get the Christmas shopping done.’ OR “We have to have a real tree; without it it’s not Christmas!”
Christmas is a time when seemingly even the ones that scoff at traditions seem to have their own. What traditions bring us closer to the real meaning of Christmas? Riding on a donkey for 70 miles? Sleeping in an unheated barn? Or do we like something more sentimental; something to decrease the depth of meaning of Christmas?
Are we in love with sentimentality or celebrating or with Christ, the new-born king?
I’m reminded of the Christmas song by Downhere:
A land adorned with snow
Tree silver and gold
A fire crackling along
Red and green décor
Carolers at the door
And that family feeling is strong
Would it be less Christmassy, if all of it were gone
Even if nobody said Merry Christmas
If even the ch-oirs and belfries made no s-ound
There would be p-eace on the Earth, and forgiveness
‘Cause its Christmas in our hearts
One Authority Among Many?
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God. Not only does it contain truth but it IS truth. Being the Word of the everlasting, unchanging God, His truth does not change. As Christ followers, we want to maintain a relationship with Him which means that communication and getting to know Him are very important, just as it is with our human relationships. Reading and studying the Bible then becomes imperative (Acts 17:11 and 2 Timothy 3:16) because that is how God communicates with us. When we believe that God is speaking to us in prayer – it must lineup with God’s Word or we are listening to an imposter.
With the proliferation of media communication, society has a lot of influence, even in the church. Society has adopted the concept that what most people think defines what truth is. The more we as Christ followers consider what our society thinks, and the less diligent we are about studying God’s Word as the final authority or unchanging truth, the farther we grow from Christ.
In this regard, I really appreciated the quote by John Stackhouse from the October 2013 issue of the MB Herald: “Once we give up on serious Bible study and resort instead to ‘the basic thrust’ of the Bible, or ‘the main message of the gospel’, or some other convenient generalization, we have no place to stand against that tide, and nothing to offer our society that our society is not already saying to itself.”
I have been reading a book entitled 'Angry Conversations with God' and in one of the chapters I was pleased to hear that this author does not agree with the statement 'I am spiritual but not religious'. I think we use statements like that as an excuse not to engage in truly walking with God.
The Christmas Season is upon us and we are all scurrying to get that perfect gift and make our celebration perfect. I would suggest that perhaps this year we remind ourselves that the real reason Christmas is celebrated is because God gave His Son to us as a gift. He literally gave Christmas away. What are some ways we can give Christmas away this year to help those that need our encouragement and support? After all Jesus came into a messy world and got down with the mess. I think we need to do the same!