During this Advent season, we have been preparing our hearts, changing our thoughts, and working to break chains we've forged in life in order to experience the manifest presence of God this Christmas. We have found that we have focused on the wrong stuff at Christmas time and so we are rekindling the joy and expectancy of the coming of the infant in a manger. We even did a little couples dancing at the end of our service this past Sunday! WOW! What an expression of the joy we have inside.
As we have prepared, we've learned some lessons from Charles Dickens story, "A Christmas Carol" which is about a miserly old business man named Ebenezer Scrooge who responds to the festivities of the Christmas season with a hearty, "Bah Humbug." To Scrooge Christmas is " a time for paying bills without money, a time for finding yourself another year older and not an hour richer." Yet, he is confronted by his nephew, Fred, who is filled with Christmas cheer. His idea is that Christmas is all about giving it away. It is a time of forgiveness, a time of charity, a time when people open their closed hearts to other people.
I encourage you today, to decide to place the focus this Christmas on Christ, not presents--not money--not problems. Remember that Jesus came as a babe, grew up, proclaimed the Kingdom of God, died at a young age, was resurrected, ascended to the heavens, and is coming back! Because we have this good news, we can break chains, mend relationships, sing as if no one is listening, dance like there is no tomorrow, and live our lives in service to others. We can express an inner joy that no one on this earth nor in hell can suppress! For God has always been there for us, will always be there, and one day we'll see him face to face! Whoa! I am getting all excited just writing about it! My Jesus, Oh what a wonderful child! New life, new hope, new joy he brings! No Humbugs---Shout Hallelujah instead.
May the Spirit of the Living God fill you with joy as we celebrate the birth of Christ this Christmas,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10