Tag: christ

A better way to keep Christ in Christmas

Do people really want to leave Christ out of Christmas?

I don’t think so. Because if we did, we’d be left with just ‘mas.’ Which can’t work.

  • We wish you a merry mas.
  • All I want for mas is my two front teeth.
  • We’d invite people to our mas Eve service.
  • We’d watch National Lampoon’s mas Vacation.

Nobody wants that. Not even pagans. Because we all know that whether you’re a pagan or a Christian, you watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at some point during this season.

With the myriad of distractions flying at us through the media, shopping, office parties, and traveling, we need reminders to keep Christ in Christmas, right? You’ve seen them on buttons, t-shirts-billboards, and yard signs.

CHRISTmas reminders

  • Jesus is the reason for the season.
  • Keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas.
  • No Christ. No Christmas. Know Christ. Know Christmas.
  • Christmas is about Jesus from long ago, not Santa trudging through the snow.

Maybe I made that last one up. But I’m not convinced that these types of reminders work. I also think that when you make it a personal mission to tell everyone you see, “Merry CHRISTmas” (over-dramatizing the “Christ” part), you don’t necessarily help your cause.

In fact, that’s offensive to many people.

“Shouldn’t that make us, the Church, upset?” you say. “It is our holiday, after all, right?” This holiday should be all about Jesus, so we should expect that everyone, even those who don’t follow Jesus, to honor him as Savior and Lord during the Christmas season, right? Oh wait…never mind…forcing someone to recite something they don’t believe isn’t necessarily helpful. Expecting that they’ll honor Jesus during December even though they don’t believe He is King may not be the best way.

Can I offer a better way?

Better CHRISTmas reminders

Maybe a better way to keep Christ in Christmas is to show people love. Even people that don’t deserve it.

Maybe a better way to keep Christ in Christmas is to pursue peace with people because God, through Jesus, has pursued peace with us. 

Maybe a better way to keep Christ in Christmas is to live joyfully in the midst of difficulty. Because we have a Savior who endured our suffering.

Maybe a better way to keep Christ in Christmas is to live generously. Because we serve a King who has given us salvation.

Maybe a better way to keep Christ in Christmas is to live our lives as if the God of the world sent his Son to call us His own.

But maybe I’m wrong.

Maybe we should just keep wearing our buttons. 

 

 

Don’t make it worse

Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart
is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound (Proverbs 25:20)

Sometimes, our counsel can make things worse.

We feel like we’re being helpful, but in reality, we make life more painful and difficult to bear.

So next time someone you know is dealing with a lot of life, and isn’t sure how to handle it, don’t try singing a happy song.  Don’t sugar coat things and tell them that it’s not that bad.  Because maybe it is that bad.

Instead, try weeping with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)

Or just being quiet. (Job 2:13)

Or pointing them to the unchanging hope of life with Christ.  Not to the quickly fading hope of a good and easy life on earth. (2 Corinthians 1:5)


 

Hunger, Snickers, and Satisfaction

snickers_bar

Snickers Satisfies.

At least, that’s what their slogan says.

But why, after I eat one, am I still left feeling hungry?

Why, if I eat more than one of them, am I left feeling sick?

Because we all know that Snickers bars don’t provide true satisfaction.  They satisfy only for a moment.  Or, when overindulgence happens, satisfaction exits.

Don’t settle for false substitutes.  Jesus Christ is the only true satisfier in this life. (John 6:35)

Power, money, “stuff,” food, sex, influence, busyness, success, health, safety…all leave you hungering for more, .

A Snickers bar tastes good.  A meal with steak and potatoes is better.

Busyness seems good.  Serving others is better.

Safety is good.  Living life to the full is better.

But placing your hope, and finding your soul’s satisfaction, in any of the above will leave you salivating for more.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:25-26)

Can you say that with the Psalmist?  Where does your heart find true satisfaction?

 

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