Thoughts on Keeping Christ in Christmas

Screenshot 2018-12-18 at 8.59.08 AMThere is no command in the New Testament to celebrate Christmas. Jesus is not disappointed over losing “his day” to Santa Claus or commercialism or anything else. He never asked for a day but rather we assigned him one. What Jesus wants is a place in your heart not a date on your calendar. He wants to bring each of us into a personal relationship with a loving God. He tells us to abide in him as he abides in the Father.

Suing the local government over the right to put up a nativity scene doesn’t “keep Christ in Christmas.” The secular society never had Christ to begin with so there’s no keeping him there. We as believers must keep Christ in our hearts, in our homes and in our church. And we must do so year round not just when Santa is at the mall. That’s not to say we can’t celebrate Christmas. We put up a tree in our home (after Thanksgiving), hang stockings, watch Rudolph on tv and put out milk and cookies for Santa. We also light the candles on the wreath as we keep the weeks of Advent. I can’t do anything Hallmark Channel showing Christmas movies in October but I have a great deal of control over what verses we read, hymns we sing and prayers said during our family devotions.

Don’t be surprised or offended that the world is not interested in Jesus. The manger reminds us that he came into the world. The cross reminds us that, for the most part, the world rejected him. Do good deeds, share good news. Badgering unbelievers with Christian images isn’t going to do anything for them. Show them Christ. Be salt and light. And like I said, that continues into January and beyond. If your Christianity can be stored in a box in the attic, maybe it’s time to revisit the Gospel.

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Happy Monday Commentary

Screenshot 2018-11-23 at 7.44.46 AMYesterday the weekly Happy Monday post invited everyone to begin celebrating Christmas. Just a couple of thoughts, I will try not to labor the issue.

1) Happy Monday is meant to be encouraging, uplifting and often times funny. Sometimes funny that teaches a lesson in the subtext, sometimes funny because smiling and laughing are good for us. Take everything with a grain of salt. Continue reading

Final Thoughts: Epiphany

Screenshot 2018-01-09 at 2.57.29 PMMany Christians celebrate Epiphany on the Sunday after January 6th. Sometimes my mind makes connections between things that others may have thought unrelated. Maybe we all do that, working in what some describe as thought webs, but I’m about to submit one such thought for your consideration.

Matthew 2:1-12 is the Gospel account of the wise men’s visit. Ephesians 2:11-21 describes how all believers are one in Christ. Verse 17 in particular says that Jesus has preached peace to those that were far away and those that were near. Consider how the Christmas narrative illustrates that point. Continue reading

Why Not Shepherds?

screenshot-2016-12-11-at-7-49-28-amToday is the third Sunday of Advent. Many of us will light the shepherds candle and sing Joy to the World. We’ll read Luke 2:8-20 and talk about how joy was for all people, even lowly shepherds. That first Christmas night was celebrated by a carpenter, an unwed mother, and a few dirty, smelly shepherds from a nearby field. There is certainly a message of hope in the clear demonstration that Christ had come for all…

But why not shepherds? Continue reading

Where’s All the Christmas Posts?

Christmas last supper (1)

In years past I have devoted the month of December to blogging nothing but Advent and Christmas. There have been a few of those in recent weeks. One reason I have been posting fewer things on The Master’s Table is that I’ve been posting in other places, such as my church’s website. So if you’re looking for more stuff, let me suggest the following. Continue reading

The Rest of the Story

Screenshot 2015-11-13 at 2.15.36 PMThe Internet Monk has a post up today about jumping to conclusions based on an Internet meme or a quote on Facebook without having all the facts. Shortly after reading Chaplain Mike’s post I heard a story on the radio that very much relates, which I will try to paraphrase.

“I grew up in a small town that never had any big Christmas events but there was this one guy that put up all the lights. Every year he kept adding more and more and eventually traffic backed up as people drove from all around just to see this one guy’s house. One year we could see him up ahead holding a bucket and my friend’s dad just went off. ‘He’s taking up donations. I can’t believe after all this time he’s out here trying to make a profit.’ He just went on and on about money and commercialism and how this guy was destroying Christmas. When we finally got up to where they guy was with the bucket it was full of candy canes. He wasn’t collecting anything, he was giving stuff away! We were laughing our heads off in the back seat but all the way home my friend’s dad didn’t say another word. He wouldn’t talk.”

The point of this story was about we can never admit being wrong. If we admit to being wrong, even in an apology, it’s an acknowledgement of imperfection. But the Pastor Saeed post on iMonk was fresh in my mind and the story above certainly applies to rushing to judgement without having all the pertinent details.