Put Christ back into Christmas
At this time of year, most people give some semblance of honour and attention to putting Christ back into their lives and they call it Christmas. Then they dive headlong into me-me, my-my, and what I want and all presents I have to get and it all turns so quickly into a very self centred getting stuff for me, kind of season. It is really supposed to be about others, Family, Unity; and then Unity with Jesus Christ. A time to reflect upon his Birth, he was and is Royal and Regal, yet was born in a barn full of animals, laid in an animal feed trough, on some hay, and that is actually stock food, that is about the bottom of the Barrel.
Why? Because he loves you so much that he came to live as one of us, down at our level, to show us his Heavenly Father, to start us back home on the road to Heaven. But he became as depicted in John 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Paul tells us in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Or Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
We were sold into bondage to Satan and to the slavery of sin and death, yet Jesus came right down to our bog and mire, stepped down into it right alongside us and lived among us and then paid the huge penalty price for us all as spelt out in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This was fulfilled at Calvary, where the blood was shed and everybody and anybody who wants it is now released from sin and death. Paul advises us that in Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” No sacrifice, no shed blood, means that sin remains and will kill and destroy those who have its deathy infection.
So what would Jesus do if he lived in your neighbourhood? He would do what he always did when he lived here on Earth, give a helping hand to those around them. James gives us the hint in James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Here is some good admonition for us to adopt at this time of year. Let us take the large meal to the elderly, sick, widows, fatherless or those disadvantaged near us, and sit down with them and have the meal with them. If they Barbeque and you do, then haul your barbeque over, along with the corn, salads, bread, sauce and things, and celebrate with them at their place. Paper plates and there is no mess to clean up, into a garbage bag and the job is all done. You will make their day, and their year, and have a lot of fun yourself in the process. There is a saying that goes like this, “A Stranger is a friend that you have not met,” so meet a new friend. Here is the admonition as found in Luke 14:12-14 “Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor [thy] rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
So why not make a difference in your local neighbourhood and go out to those about you, living next door. If you are not up to cooking, then take a food parcel of fresh veges, canned goods, cereal for the children, if you are poor yourself, just go over and visit, kick a ball around with the children. If their lawn or garden is a bit over grown, then do something about fixing it, or hire the local contractor to just turn up and do it, you pay the contractor and the recipient gets a special Christmas present of a nicely mowed lawn.
If they are unable to give the house a “Spring Clean” why not hire the local contractor to give the inside a spruce up, clean windows, wash down the house. Get a group together and give their house a new coat of paint, they get a huge blessing and your neighbourhood looks even better with a sparkling fresh house in the street. Be creative, you just never know what you can achieve till you try. Need some assistance, then look over the fence and see if you have a willing buddy over there who is looking for a good idea, and you now have one.
Let us be more community minded this Christmas, let us live and act like Christians, and serve those about us. If your church has a “Christmas Special Program,” then invite them to come along, they may need a lift to get there, then oblige, or pay the Taxi Charge. Does their car need a wee fix, if you can, then do it, if not get your mechanic friend, or pay the mechanics bill. Do they need Tyres? Set it up with the local Tyre Shop, you pay the bill and they go down for some Tyres. Is their Registration due, then pay for 3 months or so to get them going again? Listen to the Holy Spirit, and then follow through, and you can even be totally anonymous if you really want to be, a box of food at the door, Rego sticker in the Mailbox or under the door. Why not you be a real Live Santa, and bring real good cheer to your neighbours, let us all live our Christianity on the outside in public view, by being Christians. Let us all put Christ back into Christmas. Merry Christmas to all.