Christmas with Christ

Orthodox Christian pilgrims gather to enter the Grotto during Orthodox Christmas services at the Church of Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem

Wow, what a Christmas season this has been. It’s been one thing after another. There were lights to hang outside and a tree to put up and decorate. We had to travel out of town for awhile. Before I was even back in town the fire department was sending emails requesting that I come back to work for a couple of days before Christmas. Of course there was Christmas shopping to do. I have to find a gift, for Kathy, which is difficult to say the least. Mom’s flying to Seattle to spend Christmas with my sister so I gave her a lift to the airport. The battery went dead in our 1994 Toyota Camry so I had to swap in a new one. Then I had to pick up some family members from the airport. I’m on the phone with my nephew Kassidy who’s coming down for a visit with his family, but maybe not, but maybe so… Kass, just come on down! Skyping with my parents (who are out of town) so they can visit with us, their grandkids, and great grandkids.

Wow.

So now it’s time to put the Christmas Eve and Christmas day plan into action. We’ll get the family together for dinner out on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day we’ll get the family and friends together again, have a nice spread, open presents, play some board games, watch a Christmas movie.

Phew, done, made it through another Christmas. Wow. I’m so glad we celebrate the birth of Jesus every year. It’s intense but fun. Without the celebration of the birth of Christ we wouldn’t get the family together the way we do. We wouldn’t exchange gifts. We wouldn’t watch a movie together.

But we did it. We did it all.

Didn’t we? We’re good right? It was another great Christmas.

Wasn’t it?

Let me ask you something. Have you ever hosted a birthday party without inviting the person who was having the birthday?

How many of us do that today? Madison Avenue marketing makes us believe that we can’t live without the new iPod Touch, or the new Kindle Fire, or the latest clothes, or kitchenware, or big screen TV, or the Monster Abbey Bominable Doll with Pet Wooly Mammoth named Shivver (no I didn’t make that last one up, it’s real, and it’s a hot seller).

Hollywood has us believing we need to go see the latest blockbuster movie.

Activision has us believing we need to play Call of Duty MW3.

Never before have we experienced such distraction in our lives. One hundred channels on TV, video games, football, Facebook, Farmville, Netflix (watch movies instantly!)

But that can’t be an excuse to leave Jesus out of Christmas. We can’t get so focused on family, friends, gifts, games, and entertainment, that we leave out the One who we’re supposed to be celebrating.

The One who endured torture and death so you and I can enter into heaven!

If someone had saved your life, physically, here on earth, can you imagine celebrating his birthday without inviting him to the party? So why do you, so why do I drift away from focusing on the Person who we’re supposed to be celebrating this time of year?

LORD have mercy on us.

LORD please forgive us.

Invite Jesus Christ to join you in celebrating His birth this Christmas. Go to church. Read the Christmas story at this year’s gathering. Pray to Him as a group, with family, and friends — give thanks for how He’s blessed you in 2011. Spend time alone with Him. Do something that points to Jesus, that honors Jesus. Do something in remembrance of Him.

The night Jesus was born, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Luke 2:15

Go to church and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told you about, just now, in this blog.

Invite Jesus to join you this Christmas.

You’ll be glad you did.

And so will He.

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