Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a Child is born, to us a SON is given; and the government shall be upon HIS shoulder, and HIS NAME shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty GOD, Everlasting FATHER, Prince of Peace.”
The CHRISTmas question!
Hold fast to The SPIRIT WHO brought Christmas day; after WHOM it was named…without peer. Cling tightly to CHRIST then, ye blessed by HIS presence, and share with no other HIS praise.
For at present the Body takes after the world until separate no more does it stand. Both “glitz” and false glamour provide no distinction that we have — from darkness — been purged.
For each light and each trimming has stolen attentions. Without mention of GOD save through prayer. Though HIS story, well known, is rehearsed and recited…most “speed-read” their rush to the ending.
So slowly my speech savors what HE declared…now prepared by GOD’s own written WORD! Thus determined is Self to re-live the first CHRISTmas with you as if we had been there!
As HIServant breathing in that most wondrous hour afresh,
Devotional: Please take the following not as a bashing or harsh correction. My soul intent is simply to ask ourselves the title of this: to ask ourselves…the CHRISTmas Question.
Routine is the enemy of Zeal for CHRIST. We all fall into and plan such paths as well but I voice caution especially around this very celebration.
I think it boils down to a passing down of tradition versus intentionally pausing to put ourselves in the shepherd’s sandals.
For instance, once we know that 1-10 is the base numbering system, we no longer gaze at the numerals with wide-eyed wonder. Once we know the basics of our TV remote, we don’t stare at it in frustration or search endlessly for the instructions.
Point being, once we hear the CHRISTmas story a few times, we can recite along with the recording or the one reading, right? Now this beautiful redemptive account has been well documented and passed down and onward for centuries.
But sadly the yearly, formal repetition of HIS birth, coupled with monthly remembrances, often dulls the edges of our passion for the CHRIST, in a manner of speaking.
But rather than resign to a cliche’ like “Well, that’s to be expected!!”; I counter with it should mean more and have greater depth of love within us as we display our zeal outwardly.
Well meaning intentions of gift giving get buried in over-commercialization. Who hasn’t heard or experienced that? But the reality is that the over saturation of distractions bury the message of CHRIST.
Cooking, buying, wrapping, organizing, and on and on. It’s hectic and chaotic, even overwhelming.
But!! Where is the time spent which gives greater attention and soul fire to heart preparation, opening ourselves to HIS WORD wholly?
Where is the investment of attention given so that we would be greater transformed into HIS image….because we spent extraordinary spans solely upon JESUS?
Let me share some potential extremes or potential realities depending on the individual heart.
Revelation 3:15-16 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
Revelation 2:4 “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.”
This too is a well known and often heard compliant! In summary, this truth remains. We LOVE the social experience of CHRISTmas much more so than our spiritual transformation in CHRIST at this time.
Why? Because we aren’t “First Hand Witnesses” to HIS birth or any physical time HE spent on earth.
Thousands of years have passed since HE was born and here’s the tragedy, here’s what those degrees of Separation have led us to believe.
That disappointing our kids, our family, our friends and loved ones during this season OUTWEIGHS disappointing (and here’s THE WORD) even grieving the HOLY SPIRIT. AS IF HE’s not here to be saddened because we largely leave HIM out of and mostly off to the side of HIS birthday!
Let me repeat that in summary and directly. We as the Body are ALSO sickeningly captivated by the social glitz, glamour and earthly gifts of this “season”.
We honestly — to put a bottom line on it —- have traded disappointing others to reject GOD instead…and that without being aware of the depth of our offense?
Am I making any sense? May I now personalize this for us, reminding my own self most of all?
CHRIST stands before us now. HIS nail scarred hand is outstretched in our direction as we are walking out the door on another “mission critical” activity while multi-tasking a host of “worthy” #1 priorities.
Tangled up in our list of things-to-do, still we progress. We have to get back to turn of the oven and make stuffing, we have company coming over in a few hours, we have to pick up that one item that our loved one really wants and the sale ends in an hour and just as we’re rushing out to our cars HE simply says to us,
Luke 10:41-42 “And JESUS answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things: but only one thing is necessary, and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
My dear, dear friends…what do we take away from each other with our mutual fixation of holiday busy-ness? What do we steal from them and ourselves with our mutually accepted level of focus more so on the trimmings and wrappings of CHRISTmas…instead of THE GIFT of CHRIST inside our hearts?
Did you know that JESUS repeats a word in THE WORD to confirm it? HE uses “Truly, Truly” or “Verily, Verily” 25 times in the Book of John.
HE repeats it for emphasis of fact.
John 3:3: “…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of GOD.”
John 5:25 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of GOD: and they that hear shall live.”
Verily, verily, truly, truly…Martha, Martha. Whitney, Whitney.
Speaking most of all to myself, “Are you afraid of the backlash of others including family if you just take HIS day to just focus on HIM?”
Would all life stop breathing and would the earth stop spinning if the worldly priority of materialism was cut off truly…TRULY?
The answer is No. So here’s the CHRISTmas Question.
“Is it worth drawing a bold line in the sand so that others know how much personally matters to us?
Only you can answer that. Only you and GOD are having that conversation. No one else is or need be part of it.
But I challenge you today to address that question and set yourself apart. Truly. TRULY.
Amen and amen.