17 11 2014

I am sure that you have seen bumper stickers or billboard signs that present this sentiment that may contain more literary imagination than practical reality. They read: “Put Christ Back Into Your Christmas!” The problem with this adage is that it assumes that Jesus was once the center of a holiday that more often than not- it was pretty hard to find him in! Maybe the better suggestion might be, ‘Why Not Put Christ Into Your Christmas This Year- For A First Time?” How would your holiday season truly be different if everything you did reflected your love for the Lord? Something tells me that we are far too self-centered at this time of the year- to ever know the joy that might be ours if we revolved our December around God!

It all comes down to who is actually running the production! So much of Christmas has become materially driven that we might need to start all over again rather than attempt to renovate the celebration! How many Christmases actually come down to you not putting your whole heart and soul into giving a specific gift to another- but more if you gave everybody the same amount? Did you get something for the people that you don’t even like making sure that you supplied a token that they really won’t need or appreciate? Isn’t it time to stop this madness and end this charade?

How was Jesus born? If you go back to the original source that defines the First Nativity, you will read in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 2 and verse 2 that when the wise men arrived in Jerusalem, they said that Jesus was “born king of the Jews.” Don’t miss this! They were talking to a man named Herod who hijacked the throne! Herod was not born a king- he bought the position. He had others refer to him by a title that he never deserved. Jesus was not made a king- he was born one! If anybody should be in charge of everything- it is the Lord! How about in your life? Is he just some ceremonial figure head or do you let him call the shots and drive the agenda? Jesus has always been the only real king who was born king. He starts as king and he ends as king and if you would get the hint- he should be your king!

I know to do something so radical as to allow Jesus to superintend your Christmas behavior would mean lots of changes but maybe that is the only way to redeem the season. What if you asked the Lord what the best gifts might be to give away this year? Do you have to buy them? Would it mean more if you actually made them? Is it always about outdoing and one upping the other? What if you gave the gift of time to your child? A whole day with you where they could pick what the itinerary would be?

And what about giving a present to Jesus this December 25th? I mean it! The Bible says that if we even do something for the least of these in his name- we have done it to him. What if each member of your family gave something personal and from the heart to Jesus? Maybe it could be a toy for a needy tot? Maybe it could be doing some free babysitting for an overwhelmed family? Maybe it would be to take a meal over to the neighbor that you never see? Maybe it is to make that phone call or send that note to that somebody that you might have lost touch with but you still honestly care about! Why leave these magical moments to the net Hallmark Movie when it is within your power to pull it off?

Let’s go back to the beginning one more time and see if we can learn something from the original wise men! Did you notice that they were the only group in the original Christmas experiences that were genuinely interested? I mean, they had traveled from the east at a great expense and inconvenience, and they show up in Jerusalem and ask, “Where’s Jesus? He’s not here.” And what they don’t do is say, “Well, we’ve looked, and we tried, and now we’re gone.” They dug deeper! They go further! They are not satisfied with apathy and ignorance. They want to know “Where might he be? Get the scholars together. We need to get more information. We’re looking for him. Where is he?” They’re very determined to find him. Do you see that? How about you? Are you that determined to rediscover the Christ of Christmas? Prove it!

When the Magi find out that Jesus is in Bethlehem, they make immediate plans to travel there. They were going to keep looking, keep seeking, and keep searching. No excuses! They needed to meet him. They’re genuinely interested in Jesus. Herod only cared about himself and that pretty much defines most peoples’ interest in Christmas today! The scholars knew the answers but they did nothing with it! They were not interested! But the wise men- they were not going to have a Christmas without Jesus! And that is what I pray for all of us this year! You really want to get to know Jesus. You want to meet him. You want to allow him to drive this December! It’s your move! And the results will determine what kind of gifts this Noel will tell!



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