It is mind-boggling to me that some people get more into debt so that they can buy Christmas gifts for their families and friends and/or get so stressed out decorating, shopping, baking, preparing for Christmas. I don't think that's what Jesus has in mind how He wants His birth to be celebrated. In my opinion, we, Christians, should celebrate Christ's birth, life, death, and resurrection...celebrate Him all year long any way, not just at Christmastime. How should we celebrate?
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The Advent Conspiracy Promo Video from theadvance on Vimeo.
"This is love for God: to obey His commands." (1 John 5:3a) Jesus would want us to celebrate Him by obeying His Word. "Therefore go and make disciples of all naitons, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20) "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess His name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." (Hebrews 13:15-16) We can celebrate Jesus by spreading the Good News, worshiping Him, proclaiming His name, doing good and sharing with others. "Others" do not just mean our families and friends. "Sharing" doesn't just mean gifts/things.
Let's take a lesson from Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (by Charles Dickens). After having been visited by his dead partner Marley, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, he was given a second chance to live right and to celebrate Christmas. What did he do? He paid for a prize turkey and had it delivered to Bob Cratchit's. He gave money for the poor and destitute. He visited his nephew, Fred, to have dinner with him and his wife. Notice that Scrooge did not buy gifts for his nephew or his nephew's wife. His gift to them is time and his love & acceptance. Scrooge raised Bob Cratchit's salary, helped his struggling family, and took care of Tiny Tim (who was a cripple). He used his resources to help those in need; he discovered the joy of giving!
450 billion and 10 billion...what a difference! We need to use our time, talents, and treasures wisely and for God's glory. There are many ways to do that: serving at a soup kitchen, donating money/blankets/coats/ canned foods, etc. to the homeless shelters, visiting/go caroling at nursing homes, buying grocery for families in need, shopping through catalogs from organizations such as World Vision and Samaritan's Purse for the poor and for things that transform lives like Bibles, Gospel tracts, etc.
In this day of over commercialism, how does your family keep a meaningful and Christ-centered CHRISTmas? Please share.
~Please visit here for the links to other Spiritual Sundays posts. Thanks so much to Charlotte and Ginger for hosting Spiritual Sundays every week. Have a blessed day in the Lord, everyone!