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The 2 Faces of Christmas

By December 20, 2017 No Comments

It’s Christmastime and I have to say, I am fully in the Christmas spirit!

Today, I drove through the most dismal and dreary drizzle of rain, fog and dark skies.
But I had Christmas music on…
and that made everything better.

If you were to assume why I love Christmas, you may think it’s because we celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Others may assume it’s time with family, shopping and gift-giving.

The truth is, I am very divided about my joy at this special time of year.
The 2 images that I always associated with Christmas was our Christmas tree that would eventually care for our unopened presents like a mother hen over her eggs, and the manger scene (“nativity” according to my mother, sister, wife and daughter – to me it’s a manger scene) that pointed to the birth of Christ.
Because of this, in many ways, I wear 2 very distinct faces…

1. I love that we celebrate the coming of our Redeemer into the world who met us at our worst and gave His life so we could experience freedom, love, hope and joy. He is our true treasure and the simultaneous object of our hopes and our joys.

God Himself permeated our world in the form of helpless child to overcome our sins and, ultimately the world. It is the greatest love story and the greatest rescue in all of human history. I love that we get to remember this fact.

Alternatively and for completely different reasons…

2. I love the traditions that we have as a family (and some as a culture) of stepping back from the hum drum monotony of our daily routines to spend more time with each other, thinking of each other, and giving gifts to each other. We spend more time in our friends homes at Christmas than at any other time of year. We spend hours thinking about the perfect gift and using our resources to buy those gifts for the ones we care about.

I love the Christmas Carols, egg nog, and nuts and bolts.
I also love the lights, the trees, the wreaths, and so on…
But, not as much as the egg nog. 🙂

The manger and the tree hold very fond memories for me, but only one holds my heart because not much about the tree reflects much about Jesus. It’s a fun tradition with many positive aspects for families, friends, and communities. I will enjoy all of these things.

But Jesus is our everything, our hope, our Savior, our helper, our love. He makes life worthwhile even if you can’t afford to give a gift and even if noone is able to give you one. He wouldn’t stand in line for a Black Friday sale, and it breaks His heart that so many people go into the bondage of debt for a few trinkets to put under the tree.

For me, I don’t love the Christmas season because it’s all about Jesus, increasingly it has become less and less about Him.

My prayer for you is that you will enjoy the tree as I do, but your heart will be held captive by the manger.

Mark Love
Lead Pastor

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