A lot of people believe in GOD, or know of a god. A lot of people believe Jesus existed, they just don’t believe in the reason why? A lot of people celebrate Christmas, but it has absolutely nothing to do with Christ. Thus we have trickled from the holy days of yore to the holidays of today.
Your Favorite Holiday Movie List Might Look Like This:
A Charlie Brown Christmas
All I Want For Christmas
A Christmas Story
Ernest Saves Christmas
Emmet Otters Jug Band Christmas
The Christmas Story
Home For Christmas
Homecoming: A Christmas Story
It Happened One Christmas
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Muppet Christmas Carol
Christmas in Connecticut
A Christmas Carol
followed up by the finale of:
Christmas That Almost Wasn’t
I’m not talking about the movie, I’m talking about real life. I’m not talking about taking Santa out of the mix, because only the truest of scrooges ever would do such a thing, right? I mean Santa, what did he ever do to anyone except bring presents nice? It all started with the offense of saying Christmas. It worked it’s way into saying something like happy holiday, and it all has been followed up by the simple removal of Christmas all together.
It’s Christmas Morning, or not…
This Sunday my husband and I decorated the outside of our home for Christmas and yesterday I decorated the inside of the house. We don’t have some fantastical decorations. We have, well, what we have. Old lights didn’t work, so there were less of those. No money for new decorations, so the old will have to do. What we have, is what we’ve got. But what if what we’ve got, never was to begin with? What if it all never was. I’m not talking about me, or you, or the It’s A Wonderful Life never happening. I’m talking about something completely different.
This is what went through my head and my heart yesterday. I considered not decorating. It would have been the first time in my entire fifty-three year old life I’d not had a tree. Even when I was pity poor and my mom kicked me out when I graduated from high school, and I lived on my own, I had a wee little plant type tree. I decorated my apartment to the best of my abilities just to make sure that I’d at least put in the effort to have a merry little Christmas.
What if you and I woke up on December 25th and it was just a date on the calendar? Think about it for longer than a minute. That’s what I did yesterday as I considered not putting up a tree. I thought about it. Seriously thought about it. I considered the why’s of not, and the why I should. I thought about how we are in foreclosure and at any given minute a knock on the door of our home could change our world and while the world is playing, in a minute to win it, we’re living a life of moment to moment. Each minute has nothing to do with winning anything, just losing, but not everything.
So go ahead. Look around your home today. Step outside. Go to the mall if you must. This Sunday, I’m thinking most churches, evangelical, anything Christ based sort of churches, well, they’ll be decorated. The hanging of the greens will have commenced and it will lights, camera’s and a lot of holiday action going on.
But what if… What if it didn’t? What if it never was?
Let’s do it, let’s go there.
The date: December 24, 2011.
The holly green, the ivy green
The prettiest picture you’ve ever seen
It’s Christmas in Killarney (or where-ever you live)
With all the folks at home
It’s nice, you know, to kiss your beau
While cuddling under the mistletoe
And Santa Claus you know, of course
Is one of the boys from home
The door is always open
The neighbors pay a call
And Father John before he’s gone
Will bless the house and all
How grand it feels to click your heels
And join in the fun of the jigs and reels
I’m handing you no blarney
The likes you’ve never known
Is Christmas in Killarney (or where-ever you live)
With all of the folks at home
It does look like Christmas. It’s all merry and bright. It’s a wonderland of white and we’re all dreaming of something. Some will go over the river and through the woods, some will want a hippopotamus, others will be going on a sleigh ride, dashing through the snow. Some will be singing about the trees and it’s lovely branches, while others will be welcoming a silent night while all the children are snug in their beds, with visions of what is to come quite faithfully tomorrow.
But what if…
You and I and all the snuggled in our bed selves wake up and it’s now…
December 25, 2011
You rush into the room all excited and bright eyed–but wait, you rub your eyes because what should before your wondering eyes appear but…
Nothing! No tree, no decorations, and GASP, no presents either. You rub your eyes again, you even pinch yourself because it is December 25th and it’s all suppose to be all about the joy in your world. You are suppose to be witnessing a room and halls all decked out, but the scene before you is more of a blue Christmas. What is going on, you wonder?
So, you rush outside to go tell it to a neighbor. You wonder as you wander over to ring the Christmas bell, where is it? You step backwards and look around the town of ___________ (where-ever you live). Nobody has decorations up. There is absolutely nothing to do with Santa, or reindeer, or ho-ho-h0. There is absolutely no joy in your world right now. You reel and feel as if you are about to fall into some midnight clearing of bleakness when you realize, something is truly happening and you have got to go tell it on the mountain (or at least to your pastor).
You quickly dash away, dash away to church. You grab the door nob and… it’s locked? No way, it’s the most important day of all when all the faithful and even not so faithful, come, oh yes, they come to adore…
Him? Yes, Him!!!
You get your cell phone out and you quickly go to your emergency contacts and dial the pastors number. Your hands are as white as the snow and your rocking around ready to find out what happened. Your pastor answers. You quickly tell him you might be hallucinating because the church is locked up and what was, well it is no longer. And by the way pastor, why aren’t you here on this morning of all mornings bringing the CHRISTmas message?
Your pastor is confused, but because he has been trained to handle such things, and he is after all a good person, he asks you to calm yourself, be a little merry, things will look a little brighter after he gets there. You hang up and you hold on. You wait, you say Merry Christmas to anyone who wanders by, but they look at you like you like you’ve got one to many nuts stored up inside your noggin.
Finally, the pastor arrives, and oh God bless this merry gentle man he brought his Bible. You tell him all about your morning and you say open up the Bible pastor, it’s all in there, the greatest story ever told. So he opens up the Bible and what? There is no away in a manger, there is no…
Never did an angel bring tidings of great joy.
Never did the wise men travel.
Never was there a heavenly host proclaiming the birth of a Savior.
Not today, nor any day before has there ever been in the city of David, or your city, or any city any where a celebrating of something called CHRISTmas.
It’s in that very moment the rockin’ around reels you to the ground and the lights go out.
Do you hear what I hear? You hear the bells of CHRISTmas day and the sound they make say…
All I AM wanted for CHRISTmas, was you!
You arise, you ponder, ready to rush into the other room to see if it was all but a bad dream. Instead of the immediate rush to gather all the glory of CHRISTmas mornings of old, you freeze, as you see the Bible on the table nearby. You reach for it and with trembling hands you open it up and there it is:
The Birth of Jesus
1-5About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.
6-7While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.
An Event for Everyone
8-12There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
13-14At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
15-18As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
19-20Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!
If We Continue On
In the way we are going we are going to be experiencing something similar to this day in real life. Each year we deprive the world of what CHRISTmas is really all about for the world. You see not one aspect of Christ has changed over the years, just the aspirations of mankind. We’ve watered down the Word and we cry out why aren’t we allowed to say Merry CHRISTmas. We brought about the changes for all our gains and we wander about wondering. You see we cannot expect the world to get the Christ of CHRISTmas if we mix and mingle it all with all they offer. I’m not talking about not decorating, but what if we offered up the CHRIST of CHRISTmas not in a church like way, but in a smaller every day way? What if we offered up the CHRIST of our life with love in our hearts every day, giving it away every day of the year? I haven’t much, but what I have to give I give here, in a small maybe even meaningless way to some, my writing. It’s not much, but it’s the way I know He’s led me to go. How about you? I might not have this medium much longer, but that still won’t stop me from sharing Jesus all the days of my life. Every day I want to give all that I have of meaning away.
When a child in a manger just can’t compare to the bright shining stars in the malls across the world. How can we ever attract a dying world to a sweet little baby boy, when we keep making the Greatest Gift, seem as though it’s the least.
You might think I’ve lost my mind. Truly though take a look back. How far have we come in almost removing CHRISTmas? We after all now deck the halls for halloween as if it’s like CHRISTmas, so that when CHRISTmas comes, it’s nothing special. At least not in the way GOD intended for it to be, for you see, the date might differ from Jesus’ actual birth day, and it might not be the way we exactly say, but the Scripture, that will always remain the same. So let us truly this season come, come, let us adore Him.
Let’s allow this Savior King to change all we know, but in a GOD-way. Waking up and not finding the tree, the presents, the decorations, not such a big deal-o. Removing Christmas by the standards of the world, is just leading us to removing CHRISTmas, and that is just something we can’t afford to lose. So this CHRISTmas, if you really believe, give the gift of One Savior fits all of mankind.
There is still a Shepherd keeping watch over His flock by day and by night. This CHRISTmas instead of bringing the madness of the mall to someone, bring them a gift that just can’t be returned, one where all who understand the purchase Jesus made for them, will no that this sale was finalized on the Cross, and is secured up in Heaven for Eternity. If there is room in the heart, it’s a perfect One Savior fits all of mankind gift that keeps on giving, and giving.
It could happen in our lifetime. We too could find ourselves one day waking up to a world that has no room, once again, for Jesus. All I’m saying is it’s up to us, to the Bible Believing, Christ-centered CHRISTmas folks to keep Jesus at the center of all the activity that is going on. Not just for CHRISTmas, but for each and every day. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a quitter and I’m not going to stop saying Merry CHRISTmas or GOD-morning any time soon. How about you? What the world needs now is His Love, sweet love. So bring it…
This CHRISTmas bring the real thing! Bring them a coke, a smile, and…
Go ahead, go tell it on the mountain, in your town, at your job. Nobody can stop the CHRIST of CHRISTmas flowing forth from you,