I was tempted to erase this post and not speak up. I don’t want to be accused of being the Grinch or Scrooge. Then I realized I’m just doing what I’m told.
As Christmas approaches, I thought it might be good to remind us all that the same little baby Jesus who was born in a stable grew up and actually said things. The King of the universe – whose coming happened in such an inconspicuous and unexpected way – grew up and put demands on our lives.
The Christ whose birth we celebrate by indulging in materialism said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth.”
The Jesus we fight and argue over when someone is offended by our religious celebration said, “Love your enemies.”
That baby Jesus we get all warm and fuzzy over and sing “Happy Birthday Jesus” to said, “If you don’t deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me, you are not worthy of me.”
He actually placed demands on how we live our lives. He actually told us to be holy. He actually told us not to return evil for evil. He actually said to love one another. He actually commanded us to die to ourselves if we are going to follow Him. Can we really celebrate the birth of Christ and ignore the things He said when He grew up?
To me, the real symbol of Christmas shouldn’t be the star or the tree, it should be the cross. Because if Jesus hadn’t hung on the cross, His birth would have meant nothing.
And if we’re not willing to hang on the cross with Him, our celebration really means nothing either.
#1 by Mark Murdock on December 23, 2010 - 12:34 PM
Yes! “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46.) He is a King to be obeyed.
#2 by Erica on December 23, 2010 - 3:45 PM
Our hearts will be with what we truly treasure.
#3 by Erica on December 23, 2010 - 5:34 PM
Another thought – Paul knew how to suffer need and live with plenty, too. (Phil. 4:12) He knew contentment and God’s sufficient grace in both scenerios (not just in times of lack). I think many Americans need to know HOW to live with plenty as Paul knew how to do. What does that look like? We have so much in comparison with much of the world. Or do we really where it matters most?
Is it possible to live with plenty and not be materialistic? Apparently, Paul knew how to do this. How is this accomplished? Paul was content no matter what his life circumstances were. He also loved God and carried out His will.
I think people who are content tend not to be materialistic, even if they have plenty. I have known those with plenty who are not materialistic and also have known those who suffer lack and are very materialistic though they have very little.
As a whole, I think our modern society tends not to be content or rely on the sufficiency of His grace like we ought. Many look to things to fill their emptiness rather than to the greatest Treasure of all.