Friday, December 15, 2017

Here is your annual reminder. You're welcome.

What if we had Christmas with no gifts?

Some of you may say, "well baby Jesus received gifts from the three wise men." Of course he did. He is Jesus! That's why we celebrate Christmas, right? 

You aren't Jesus and neither am I. We aren't even close no matter how much we try. So what makes us think that we need to celebrate Christmas with a bunch of gifts? 

Every year around this time, stress seems to amplify. I don't know about you, but I don't like feeling stressed when I think of Christmas -- it is much too warm and magical for that! But, social calendars fill up. There is a ton of cooking, baking, and decorating to do. Shopping is a priority -- especially for those that you need to ship gifts to. And then, of course, we have financial stress that affects a huge chunk of the population. (Did you know that more than half of us will go into debt just to buy Christmas gifts? And, some are still paying off last years Christmas gifts!?)

And, what is this all for again? Right, to give a present to someone who has been blessed with so much more than others. It just shouldn't be. It is just not what is it about. 

I know I probably sound like a broken record by now and you are probably shaking your head at me by now if you are even still reading this, but I feel like these feelings have amplified for me over the last couple of years. I also feel like I am somehow supposed to be that stuck record chirping in your ear to remind of you of what Christmas is all about -- and its not about buying presents!

Now, I am not saying this because I am a scrooge or that I am trying to be frugal. That is not my thought at all so go on and just dismiss that from your mind. I'm simply just throwing it out there that we need to stop and take a moment to remember why we are celebrating Christmas and decide what we truly want from our celebration. It's like this: Do you want memories of time spent with family celebrating together under the magical glow of lights? Or, do you want to waste time trying to find a place to put all your new gadgets? 

The choice is yours. But, remember who is front and center of that manger... and that is where your eyes should be drawn this season. Psalm 115:4-8 (NLT): 

 "Their idols are merely things of silver and gold,
    shaped by human hands.
They have mouths but cannot speak,
    and eyes but cannot see.
They have ears but cannot hear,
    and noses but cannot smell.
They have hands but cannot feel,
    and feet but cannot walk,
    and throats but cannot make a sound.
And those who make idols are just like them,
    as are all who trust in them."



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