Tuesday, November 18, 2008

the Season was here and we did not even know it...

I like to play silly games with my little girl and her friend as we drive to school each morning. Yesterday we played the “see who can count the most Christmas trees” game. Can you believe it? Christmas trees are popping up around town!

Of course, as soon as downtown retail stores were behind us, not a tree was in sight. If you want to usher in the Christmas season as early as possible, take a trip to you neighborhood shopping mall! Our local mall has a sign up for all to see that Santa will be arriving on November 18th... November 18th.

I can respond to this in two ways and the choice belongs to me.

My initial response is to be angry that the god of this world would use something as pure and innocent as the birth of Christ for material gain. I could rant about how materialism is the god of our day and that Christmas is no longer about filling our hearts, but about filling our greedy flesh. I could then justify spiritual pride and judgement and complain to others and impress them that my heart is pure. I could also spend the entire season raising my voice level a notch or two so people around can hear as I proclaim an arrogant “Merry Christmas” in response to retailers “happy holidays.”

Another response to the early coming of advent in the retail centers is one of thankfulness. The birth of Christ did not happen overnight. Mary, the mother of Jesus, carried the savior of all creation in her womb for nine months. The preparation and celebration of the first Christmas season began with the proclamation of an angel 39 weeks prior to the actual birth. I should be discouraged not that the Gospel is being proclaimed, albeit for greed and materialism, but that His people do not begin much earlier.

What if the spirit of Christmas is not in whether or not others rape it for the sake of capitalism? What if the spirit of Christmas abides in the hearts of His people.

Philippians 1:18 - But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

The Chrismas season was here all the time and we did not even know it!

Lyrics to Behold the Lamb of God
From Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God CD

Behold, the Lamb of God
Who takes away our sin
Behold the Lamb of God
The life and light of men
Behold the Lamb of God
Who died and rose again
Behold the Lamb of God who comes
To take away our sin

Broken hearts--behold our broken hearts
Fallen far--we need you
Behold the Lamb of God

Son of God--Emmanuel
Son of Man--we need you
Behold the Lamb
The hope of man
Behold the Lamb of God

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