I know its not even Thanksgiving yet.
But I was thinking that I would do a little series on Christmas.
Because I love Christmas.
But I want to celebrate differently this year, more relationally, more sustainably.
More lovingly and wholly.
Maybe some of those words arent even real, but I think you get the point.
Preston talked about it on Sunday- Jesus, Part of the Triune Godhead, the SAVIOR OF THE WORLD (!) saw our need for Him, for salvation, and knew we were hopeless in our depravity. So he left His heavenly throne to be born as a baby in a barn full of dirty animals, and grew up poor, was rejected by His own friends and neighbors, was tortured by those he came to save, and died with the sin of the entire world on his shoulders. And He was resurrected, but that's another post for another holiday.
"For He grew up before Him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes, we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
Because He loved us so much that He wanted us to see that He was Salvation.Though He was sinless, He bore the wrath we deserved for our sins, and gave us the opportunity for grace (undeserved favor) and forgiveness and eternal life with Him.
That is what Christmas celebrates.
But somehow, we have tweaked it to mean so much less.
I love getting presents, don't get me wrong. And I love the decorations, the trees, the music, but what would our families, our neighborhoods and cities and this country look like if we celebrated not just by shopping and partying and spending, but by giving of our time, money, ourselves until we were just plain exhausted from the joy of being His hands and feet?
For the next 12 days, I am going to show you some ways that you can change the world this Christmas.
( No, not save the world, but change it- for one person or hundreds of people)
And who knows, maybe on Christmas day, my hands, your hands, and our children's hands, might be a little more empty than they were last year, but wouldn't it be easier that way to lift them up to the Lord in praise for the things He has done?