Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

With Christmas coming up, I am getting serious about trying to keep the main thing the main thing.  It is easy to get tangled up focusing on the lights, the tree, the shopping, the gifts, and the holiday parties.  All too often, I look back after a special occasion and realize that I was so busy with the stuff, that I missed the whole purpose of why I was actually there.  This is so easy for me to do at Christmas, because there is so much to be done.

In America, we have basically reduced Christmas to a sentimental, over commercialized holiday.  We have traded the baby Jesus laying in a manger for trees, lights, tinsel, and beautifully wrapped gifts.  In all honesty, if we actually look at that first Christmas, we see very little of what modern day America actually celebrates, and why we should be celebrating Christmas.

Christmas is just the beginning of the romantic tale of how God, in all of his glory took on human flesh to rescue mankind from sin. He came that night as a baby, with a young girl as his mother and a carpenter as his earthly father.  He was born in a manger with common cattle and his parents present at his birth.  Angels sought out lowly shepherds to be the newborn's first visitors.  In essence, God's earthly birth was in an unsanitary barn, alongside animals, to parents who were common working class people, and the men that the angels sent to welcome God to this earth were shepherds who had been outside in the pastures watching sheep and probably smelling pretty woolly.  Christ's arrival was essentially like his mission--to come to the poor, lowly people who are without hope and share hope with them.

Fast forward years later.  The disciples are present.  The followers are there.  The hopeless and disease are among the ranks gathered as well.  Jesus preaches and heals.  The gossip among the crowd is that Jesus is the messiah.  The hope of the crowd is that Jesus will overthrow the Roman empire and end the Jewish oppression.  However, God in his infinite creativity had a different plan.

Instead of a great coup, God comes to earth to be beaten and nailed to a tree.  Jesus' mission upon this earth was the cross.  From his first breath, to his final words, his mission was to show love and to die on the cross as the final atonement for our sins.  The reason that we celebrate Christmas is because it was the beginning of God's mission to redeem the sinful souls of man.  Every act that Jesus did was in preparation for us to be reconciled with God Almighty.

To celebrate Christmas and not recognize his love, grace, mercy, and sacrifice is to miss the purpose of why we actually celebrate Christmas.  My prayer for you and your family is that you will experience the love, the grace, the redemption and the salvation that only Christ can give.  Jesus is the reason for the season and the cross is the reason why he came.  May the main thing remain the main thing this Christmas!

Credits for this post:  video taken from you tube and music is "It's About the Cross" by GoFish
Jennifer Meyers (C) 2010

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