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Are you ready? The holidays are here!


Ok, here we go.  We’re right on the edge of the holiday season.  I’m hungry already!  Visions of sugar plums and cookies and turkey and ham and stuffing and apple pie and…well, you get the picture…are dancing in my head.  The holiday catalogues have been filling the mail box.  My daughter is daily looking through and circling and marking and highlighting items that will be on her wish list.  I recently was reminded by a DJ on the radio that I just missed a great weekend to put up Christmas lights outside.  Oops.  Oh well, I’ll be one of the ones deciding whether I want a larger electric bill this year.  I just looked at our December budget…thanks Dave Ramsey…and am trying to see what we have and don’t have to help our family celebrate Christmas.

Funny thing is, I’m looking at all this stuff and wonder how any of this helps me tell God “Thank You” for sending His son.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think God created wonderful food and allowed us to put ingredients together like oil paints on a canvas.  Giving gifts is a great thing too…in moderation and when practical and for practicalities sake.  Lights…eh, I go back and forth on that.  Their pretty I guess.  Tree?  It’s got to be real in our house.  J

So what is the point?  What are we teaching our families and neighbors about what’s important by the way we celebrate?  Excess is a tool of the enemy.  I believe the enemy has a plan for your holiday season as he does mine.  Do you have your eyes open to see it?

About 2000 years ago the enemy had a plan for an awaited event as well.  There was a priest who doubted the word of God’s message to him (Luke 1:18).  There was a fiancé that wanted to quietly break off wedding plans (Matthew 1:19).  There was a long journey by foot required by the government (Luke 2:1 – prophesied).  There was no room for this young couple to rest after making this journey…while pregnant (Luke 2:6).  There was a King who didn’t know what to think of this new Kingdom prophesied…so much so that he declared that all males 2 years old and younger should be killed (Matthew 2:3, 16).  There was a nation and religious leadership that anxiously awaited prophesies of old to come true, yet knew the truth about what humungous changes would need to take place (Matthew 2:3).  The enemy did not want the one who would ‘crush his head’ to come into this world (Genesis 3:15).  Funny thing is God knows the enemy soooo well, He gave word that these things would come to pass before they even happened.

Today the enemy has a plan for your holiday season as well.  The question is, how will you recognize the enemy?  Do you know his voice vs. God’s voice?  God’s desire is that we sit at the table and remember His son, born to die for us.  The enemy desires Christ’s Gospel to simply become part of the mix on our busy calendars.  “Choose this day whom you will serve?” is the question Joshua spoke to his followers (Joshua 24:15).

So how do we navigate this?  I think we pray and ask God if what we’re doing will bring a smile to His face.  Am I saying that presents and trees are evil?  Not at all.  I love cutting the tree and watching the kids decorate it.  I love eating.  Oh, sorry…already mentioned that one.  There’s a sense of peace I get around the Christmas season.  Maybe it’s because I’m finally ‘getting it.’  We all know that communion time is sacred and special.  It’s about remembering our Hope.  This Christmas, let’s all set the time apart as sacred and special.  A time of remembering our Hope ‘born to us’ that night so many years ago.

A truly Merry Christmas to all of you…because that’s what it is.  A very merry celebration of our eternal peace, brought to us in the form of a child in a manger.

Love, Serve, Spread the Word,

ed

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