Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Reason We Celebrate

One of my absolute favourite modern day Christmas songs is "The Night Before Christmas" (see below). I think one of the reasons I love it so much is because it reminds me of the contrast of what our world was like before Jesus came in and what it was like after He took his first breaths as a baby. It also reminds me of the hope and light He brought then and brings now to everyone who believes.

I know my life has drastically changed with His presence in it and so that is what I am celebrating this Christmas. Sure I love having four days off work, yes I enjoy getting together with family and friends, and hey who doesn't love gifts. But in the midst of that I don't want the reason any of us have to celebrate be overshadowed by the celebrations themselves.

Jesus came down to our earth. Emmanuel, God with us. He came not just to die one day for our sins and pave a path between God and mankind; but He also came to bring us calmness in chaos, peace in uncertainty, love to those who feel unlovable and ultimately, light in the darkness.

That is the reason we have to celebrate. And that is something I don't want to lose sight of this season.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


It's no secret that for many December is the busiest month of the year. And when you ask people why they are so busy, chances are they are going to say it's because they are getting ready for Christmas. And while that's certainly an acceptable answer, let's just think about this for a second.

If every year in December we spend the majority of our time getting ready for Christmas, that means that we're pretty much dedicating one month of the year to it. Which doesn't sound so bad in the grand scheme of one year, but let's break it down further.

If every December we spend most of our time preparing for Christmas and December is one month out of twelve in a year, it's a safe assumption to make that many of us will spend one-twelfth of the free time we have in our entire lives getting ready for a holiday.

Now don't count me out as a Scrooge. Ask anyone around me- I absolutely love Christmas! But what I don't love is when I get so busy with preparing for the occasion that I end up losing Jesus in the middle of meals and presents and baking and parties. If I'm going to spend one-twelfth of the free time in my life on something, I want to make sure I'm spending it on something that is going to count. And if my way of celebrating Christmas and preparing for December 25th is nothing but shopping and to-do lists and obligations, then I'm afraid I'm missing the mark.

However, if my celebrations are centered around Christ and I use this time of year to do the things that He loves best, like:

-reach out to the lonely
-give to the poor
-share His Gospel with those around me

Then not only am I not wasting 1/12 of my life, but I'm actually living out the kind of life that God wants His followers to live. And that's something we would all do good to follow every day of the year, Christmas or not.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" (Matthew 25:34-40)