Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Anticipating Christmas

Ready for Christmas? When we were school children, we looked forward to being out of school and getting presents. Now we are grown and we groan, looking forward to time off of work—not much, but any amount is deeply anticipated. But really, why are you looking forward to Christmas?

Most of us readily vocalize the Christo-centricity of the holiday, but why long for this particular day? Is it because of a memory, a smell, feel, sound, or sight? Is it because we like to see Ralphie in that pink bunny suit all day long? Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra ra-ra ra-ra!
Sure we love to hear Linus recite, but we are so familiar with the events in Bethlehem that unlike Mary, we do not ponder these things in our heart. When was the last time we stopped everything in order to truly understand? Instead of rockin’ around the Christmas tree, how about a quiet “sit and think” about Christmas for a while? Why did God step into time and space as a helpless infant in a village so obscure that even the gospel writers had to identify it for their readers?

Start here: “but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Phil 2:7) You know that already? Slow down and think. Why did He do this? The clues are found in the next few verses:

  • Clue #1: verse 8—to die on a cross;
  • Clue #2: verse 11—to glorify God the Father.
  • Clue #3: verse 12, notice the first word. “Therefore.” This means means that Jesus was born in order to give us God’s glory to shine in the world. See verse 15.
God emptied Himself in order that we should shine as lights in this dark and dying world, blameless and innocent children of God.

If we like Mary ponder things like this in our hearts, we may need to step away from Christmas (as it were)—away from the noise, Noise, NOISE so that we can intentionally hear and see from God what He was accomplishing by His birth, death and resurrection.

I am looking forward to Christmas so God can reflect His glory through me.

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