Thursday, December 06, 2007

How's Your Christmas?


As I face another Christmas celebration at church, I brace myself for the rigorous schedule. I think of the huge investments of time and energy that go into it. I quietly wonder if we're really getting our money's worth out of all this, spiritually speaking. What does Christ think of our Christmas celebrations anyway? How much of it is even pleasing to Him? After all, isn’t He the very reason we have Christmas?

Remember that He is the One who saw straight through empty words and ceremony. He was absolutely ruthless toward such "praise". His quotation of Isaiah 29:13 is never from from my thoughts as a Worship Pastor:

These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain. (Matthew 15:8-9, NIV)


When the disciples were impressed by the beauty of the Temple, Jesus spoke of God's displeasure and foretold its complete destruction. He was a bit upset as He condemned the Pharisees for their pomp and pride. They made a show of their religion while ignoring what matters most to God.

Instead, Jesus connected with and was impressed by the faith of a widow, the honesty of a prostitute and the plight of the beggar. He gently rebuked His good friend Martha for her well-intentioned busy-ness. Her sister Mary had chosen the only thing that was needed: to sit and quietly listen at the Lord's feet (Luke 10:38-42, NIV).

What would this Jesus think of our Christmas celebrations?

Instead of pointing fingers though, what would He think of my Christmas celebrations? That's the real question, not my church's activity. All true worship takes place in the heart, so if true worship is lacking, the problem is in me.

In spite of all the "religious activity" that goes on, I've found that Christmas can be a tough time spiritually. Sadly, I must admit that often this time of year too little happens between God and me; too little real celebration of what He has done, too little true worship, too little heart-to-heart with my Father, but plenty of activity. If nothing is happening in my heart, what good is any of the celebrating?

So this year I’m asking, “God how can I give this Christmas to You? How can I be sure that my activity is pleasing to You?”

What about you, how’s your Christmas going?


Peace……

2 Comments:

At 8:17 AM, Anonymous cp said...

Ouch.

I've read and reread this several times. There is such truth in what you have said that it is not something I can fully process at once, and have found that it is taking a lot more reflection than I was initially prepared for.

I know that I get caught up more in the "what can I do for others during this season." I know I have neglected my own relationship relationship with God and have not spent the time that I (or He) would prefer. I've also noticed that this leaves more of an empty feeling, even though it feels good to focus and give to others.

So how do you find a balance between these things? When life is coming at you from all directions and there are so many demands (and things that you WANT to be involved in), how do you focus? Refocus?

I don't know.

 
At 11:32 PM, Blogger stable hand of the apocalypse said...

hey it's me dave thomas. i cant wait to come home.

 

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