You are reading this post on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day…..so either way…..MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
My prayer is that you did not get caught up in the busyness of Christmas; therefore, you are enjoying the beauty of Christmas.
Take away all of the gifts, cookies, fancy Christmas dinners, parties, and church functions. Yes, even the church functions can be distracting. Take away all of these things. What are you left with? Jesus.
Jesus was the point of all of these posts. Yes, my blog is entitled Java and Jesus. But the last few weeks, we have intentionally focused on Jesus and all that HE IS and ALL THAT HE CAN BE IN YOUR LIFE. Yes, we focus on the birth of Christ at Christmas but there is more to it than that.
We must let Jesus live…..in US. ALL YEAR ROUND.
It is easy to get all spiritual and holy during Christmas. People get all emotional over Christmas lights and “the perfect gift”. The air seems to be different too. Some people are actually nicer this time of year more than any other time of the year. It is temporary.
This Jesus thing is a daily thing. Being with Jesus is not limited to the sermons we hear at church or where your church is in regards to the liturgical church calendar. Jesus does not care if you are a church member or have not been to church in 25 years.
He is waiting.
And he will continue to wait.
Celebrate the birth of Christ this Christmas AND also celebrate that Jesus has never given up on you. Ever.
We are in the third week of Advent. This week’s theme is Peace. I am a little behind in my writings but it is still the third week until tomorrow (Sunday).
Peace is something all of us desire but few of us find in today’s culture. Our culture says, “more is better”. The more gifts you give at Christmas; the more giving of a person you are. The more apps on your iPhone, you are much cooler than your peers. The more hours you work at work, then you must be really productive. And my favorite one, the more you are at church during Advent/Christmas; the holier you are!! (Note: Can you sense my tone of sarcasm in the above paragraph?)
It is disruptive today to say “no”.
I am not implying that we be Grinches at Christmas. I am not against gifts. Or going to church. Or iPhones. We have an iPod and iPad in this home. What I am against is the busyness that has become Christmas. Just because someone may attend every special church event during this season does not mean they are benefitting from it. Attendance does not always equate to spiritual fruit. And doing all kinds of “Christmas things” does not equate to being close to Jesus. However, if you are a Christian, your Christmas should look different than someone who does not know Jesus. You should have peace and not chaos.
Peace. Ah, where do we find it this time of year?
Yet another Sunday School answer. Yet…so….true.
If we are desiring out of this world peace, we must look to the Prince of Peace. Peace this is of this world is temporary peace. Temporary peace is when your children take an extra long afternoon nap. Temporary peace is sometimes bought at the local spa or coffee shoppe. “AHHH….this is the life”.
Out of this world peace (from Jesus)– focuses on the big picture. Out of this world peace says “I will not lose my sanity this holiday season because I know the real reason for the Season”. Out of this world peace says “I do not need to keep up with the Joneses to feel like I am somebody important”. Jesus gives peace and life.
Find peace this season in not what you will do…but in how you will be…..finding peace……in the Prince of Peace.
Advent began this past Sunday. For those of you not familiar with Advent–Advent is a celebration of the four weeks (especially Sundays) leading up to Christmas Day. Each week has a different theme. Advent is celebrated because we celebrate the birth of Christ (Christmas) and we also anticipate the Second Coming of Jesus.
Hope is the first candle lit this year for Advent.
Hope. What a perfect topic to address.
We just witnessed a Presidential Election in November. People had hope in their respective candidates. People had hope that…..either man could make changes. Save issues with the economy, welfare, etc. People had hope.
Our hope in humans will be deflated. People will let us down. People will move away or change jobs and no longer work in the same office as us. People will die or they will forget your name when you run into them at the grocery store or mall.
Where do we place our hope these days?
Jesus is the Truth, the Life, Wonderful Counselor.
One thing that is very beautiful and disruptive during this Christmas season—-is to do some things different. I know people have traditions and while that is fine and dandy–we must ask why these traditions exist. Invite Jesus into these activities. Should I do this and why am I doing this? Some people do things just because it is expected of them.
Look for hope.
However– looking for hope will make you vulnerable.
Being vulnerable is perfect because this is when we are most open to being changed by Jesus. We are exposed. Our weaknesses are known. We will reach out and need assistance from Jesus and fellow people on the journey.
Advent season—should be a time of renewal.
Where are you placing your hope these days?