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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Christmas time is quickly approaching

 Hard to believe that 2020 is almost complete and we are down to the final weeks before Christmas. For many of us 2020 has brought unexpected changes and unprecedented challenges. Although the year, according to our calendars, is about to expire and we welcome a new year with renewed hope, it is more than likely that our current situations will once again be there on January 1st. I don't say that as a discouragement, but rather as an encouragement. Let me explain. When we start a new year we say we will lose weight, exercise more, quite smoking, be a better person, start going to church, etc. and we all know that these goals fizzle and fall flat by February 1st. We falter and get discouraged or pick a new starting point down the road a bit and before you know it another year has whizzed by. You and I both know that it doesn't take a new year for a new start and honestly why wouldn't we use Christmas if we wanted a fresh start on a calendar date? The celebration of hope, the recognition that our creator came to live among us that He might die in our place, having done nothing wrong. If you think about it the entire season is messed up with deception and misgivings. I have been preparing my Christmas series for preaching and I told my wife at lunch the other day that its like you celebrate Independence day 364 days out of the year and then the last day is a day to celebrate America. Isn't it kind of the same thing just a specific day set aside where we can get out of work, eat a lot of food, enjoy family and friends and exchange gifts? I am no way undermining the importance of celebrating Christmas, just challenging the priorities this time of year. Boxes and bowes, ribbon and glitter, trees and pointsettias, lights and stars, manger scenes, office parties, huge spread of food, gift getting and giving, new dresses, and suits, where does it stop? And what does it have to do with the birth of Christ? We can expect excuses to explain away our behavior but God know our hearts. The excitement the children get when they wake up and see santa has been there, instead of Jesus. By the way anyone else find it creepy that we convince our kids an old fat guy has access to our houses where everyone else is locked out and we are ok with it? And in addition he won't come unless your asleep. On the flip side, you don't have to wait till Jan. 1st or until your in deep sleep to get a new beginning. Jesus is only a prayer away, nothing creepy or disturbing about it, unless you consider why He would be there for us after all we have done to dishonor Him. 2nd Corinthians 6:2 says this; for He says at the acceptable time I listened to you and on the day of salvation I helped you. Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation." That my friends is the reason for the season. Till next time