10Q10Q -- faith, life, rethinking church, following Jesus...stuff
Sunday, December 9, 2012
What is Christmas?
Christmas in September, economy, elections, family dynamics, work, bills… whew sometimes things seem a little crazy-scary! James (1:2) tells us to consider the challenges Joy! First John chapter 4 reminds us that Loving in all things is who we are. Jesus invites us to serve the poor and those on the margins. The Great Commandment tells us to love both God and Neighbor….whew, even those bible instructions can all feel like one big, impossible pile.
Let me share a Christmas secret. Love gets into places that nobody expects or thinks is possible. That’s the whole Jesus-in-the-manger story. Love that is self-less changes us and others.
Do you remember last year at Christmas when I challenged everyone to give as much away as they spent on their own families? We bought a boatload of mosquito nets to get rid of Malaria, and piles of stuff for the Caring Cupboard. This year I didn't make that specific challenge, although it’s a good pattern to consider, but the stuff that wears us out is the stuff that is focused on ourselves: my family, my job, my bills,… mine. Christmas is outwardly focused: God leaving heaven and coming to earth, Jesus’ mission, Jesus’ Church’s calling, Jesus’ love for the neighbor, the poor, the hungry… all outward, all my opportunity for Joy.
What’s your Christmas about? I challenge you to shape it around Jesus instead of yourself. Be creative, be faithful, and be surprised at God’s freeing love in a manger. Enjoy the warmth of family traditions, make it with love, and ground everything in Jesus’ birthday. I bet you’ll find an unexpected gift!
Right now I'm looking to get beyond myself/ourselves into scripture, into trying new ways to follow Jesus, into learning, … into Christmas. How are you making Christmas this year?