Are We Forgetting The Reason For Christmas?

I am sitting here and considering what to write.  It is in my heart to write something about the birth of Jesus and why He came. Why not? Is not the celebration on December 25th called Christmas Day? Is not Jesus, the reason we celebrate it?

I was originally considering writing something about Mary and why she is called “blessed”.  According to Jesus, it is because Mary heard the words of God and was obedient:

27As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”

28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” [Luke 11:27-28]

It is worth remembering that Mary showed an incredible amount of balls when she chose to say “yes” to God.  In those days, a woman found pregnant and no husband would have received the death sentence.  As I said, she showed a tremendous amount of courage and she was blessed for it.  The same could be said of her fiance, Joseph.

Instead, I find myself drawn into a foolish controversy over the naming of a tree.  If an alien landed on this planet; he’s likely to think Christmas was about a tree; rather than about Jesus.  He’d never guess with the loudness surrounding the Christmas Tree v. holiday tree debate.

That tree has nothing to do with why I celebrate Christmas. Are we not supposed to be celebrating the birth of Jesus?  Are we not supposed to be filled with joy over why Jesus came?  Are we not to celebrate the good news of Jesus birth?

What good news? Try reading Luke 2:8-14:

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

I, for one do not like calling Christmas Tree, a holiday tree. It is pure foolishness and it doesn’t just offend Christians.  From a general check on the Internet, I’d say that Muslims and others don’t like it, either.

Let’s call it, what it is and move on. It’s a Christmas Tree.  As I already said, this debate is both foolish and a major distraction from the real reason for the season.  Let’s be bold and not timid and share the real reason for celebrating Christmas Day.

Remember, it is not about the tree; it is about Jesus.

Message Of The Cross And The Crucifix

A couple of years ago, my mother gave a small metal crucifix.  She got it, when Anthony passed away back in ’93.  As I recall, it came with Anthony’s coffin and she wanted to keep it.  Years later, my mother gave it to me for she thought it would be a nice way to remember my younger brother.

For me, I appreciated what the crucifix stood for.  It is a sharp reminder of what Jesus went through, on my behalf.  I happily took the crucifix and purposed to hang it up, when possible.  I, also wanted to hang up a large Celtic style cross that I brought in Phoenix, AZ.

The day came and I proceeded to hang both symbols of my faith in my room.  I decided to hang them on opposite walls.  As I hung up the crucifix, the word “surrender” flashed in my mind.  I knew it to be from the Holy Spirit and paused to consider its meaning.  When I hung up the cross, the word “freedom” came to my mind.

After some more consideration, the following phrase came to mind:

To have freedom; one needs to surrender”

What does this means? In my heart, I could tell that Jesus was asking me to surrender; just as He surrender himself.  As I thought this, Hebrews 12:2 came to mind:

2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus was calling me, to die to self.  I had to stop being “Mr. Independent” and be wholly dependent on the Father.  In this, I would achieve the freedom that I desired.  It is a freedom that comes from being in Christ.

For the record, I am still working on it and have a way to go.  What about you?  Are you walking in the freedom that comes from being in Christ?