Every dimension of a Christian’s life is to be experienced through the filter of the Lordship of Christ. Therefore, Christians celebrate, and experience differently than non-Christians do. Below are five guidelines to help us celebrate this coming week as a holy week and not just as a holiday.
- Celebrating a holy season begins with gratitude. The Christmas event or the incarnation is a gift that God has given. Gratitude is more than obligatory words of thanksgiving to God about His gift; it is an approach to life. Recipients of eternal grace should never resent what comes in life as we know we have been given life, a forgiven life, a Spirit-filled life and eternal life, so what is there to resent?
- Celebrating a holy season involves the language of the heart more than the language spoken with the tongue. Yes, it involves both, but some Christians get so riled up with hearing “Happy Holidays” that they don’t experience a Christ-filled Christmas. By all means, say “Merry Christmas” but give some grace to people who don’t. Grace is the language of the heart.
- Celebrating a holy season always leads to worship. Worship is not synonym for attending church. This Sunday and again on Christmas eve, come with a sense of awe and splendor as Christmas is a miracle.
- Celebrating the holy season of Christmas means we will notice how God is present and active in our world today. While God became flesh in Bethlehem, He still is present through His Spirit in His people in Birmingham. If we only celebrate the presence of God in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago without the awareness of God’s presence in Birmingham, we are making Christmas only an anniversary of a holy day.
- Celebrating the holy season will inevitably lead to serving. For the birth of Jesus or the incarnation is about kingdom of God or the rule of God being near. The rule or reign of God in our heart always leads us to live out the role of the servant. We are to serve with our time, money and energy.
Just personal: Alta Faye and I wish you and your family a Christ-filled Christmas and a happy and holy new year. May 2019 be filled with the spiritual abundance that results from living under the Lordship of Christ.
Your interim pastor,