This week we hear from Jared Heddens…
It’s the Christmas season. Basically everybody is shifting into that familiar place of two positions: YES!, YES!, YES!, and the rest of us.
I have to admit I generally fall into the second category. I love the fact that we get to spend a part of the year celebrating the birth of Jesus. It’s all the other stuff, I admit, that is challenging for me.
I think most of us are aware that Christmas has been hijacked by that good old american value – consumerism. Even my own kids, at their young age get that, “I want” mindset going. Luckily for them, I’m pretty tough when it comes to this, and so far have been able to resist the incredible cuteness that all three of my daughters, quite expertly, apply to their cause.
As the worship director for our church, this season also presents a lot of challenges. While our entire culture launches into the season of nostalgia, family, nutmeg, eggnog, gifts and the myriad other things we associate with Christmas, I feel the weight of preserving the worship of Jesus in the middle of all this. While it seems like that should be easy, it actually isn’t. Everything everywhere seems to be trying to pull our attention somewhere just next to the thing we should be focusing on. It’s also very easy to bring that into church with us on Sunday. We can accidentally replace the purpose of our gathering (which is to declare worth to our God, and study His word) with Christmas carols, and decorations.
Ok so that’s a lot of downer, here’s the turn 🙂
This season is a time to celebrate the birth of the One who sits on the throne forever and ever. The perfect sacrifice, that God sent to earth, to stand in our place, and defeat death forever. I think it’s important that we remember, in the midst of our celebration, the kind of life Jesus has called us to. He has called us to give our lives for the sake of His mission – to go into the whole world and make disciples of all people. However, Jesus promised, whoever would lose their life would find it. Jesus offers real, abundant, and joyful life as the result of living in His footsteps. His call on us is to give our lives for His glory.
I want to live a generous and unbounded life. God calls us to be good stewards with what he has given us. He has given all his people the gift of the Holy Spirit to give us love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control. I’m guessing if we just gave away those things to everyone, our world would look a lot different.
So in the end, I wish you all a Merry Christmas! I pray that we would be the people who give the best gifts to those around us. As God who gave his only Son for the salvation of the world continues to pour out His love, may we be the people who will carry that love to those who need to find their way back to God.