Jesus is Bigger Than Christmas--Final Thoughts on Advent/Christmas
It is not about you.
Have you realized this after reading my other blog posts on Advent/Christmas?
Christmas is not about you.
It is not about fulfilling the same old family traditions. It is not about visiting family or friends. It is not about receiving or giving gifts. It is not even about attending extra church services this week. You will find disappointment in the ordinary. Because we often approach Christmas in a humanly "what can I get out of this time of year" feeling. Christmas is much bigger than this. Because it involves a different kingdom.
When Jesus is born, he shakes things up. People are expecting him to ask for worship when he is maturing from birth until his death. He does the opposite. He meets true needs and serves others. He speaks to the hearts of people and he knows what they truly need = inner (hearts) + outer (bodies) healing. Jesus calls out the Pharisees (the rule keepers) who like to remind him and everyone else about all of the rules that people need to gain access to God.
This is where the Church blurries things for folks. We either tell people they must serve all of the time or we treat God as a distant god. The problem with people that serve all of the time is they lose sight of why they are truly serving. They view it as their "duty". And their sense of obligation turns into feeling guilty if they ever miss church, do something differnt, or take a break. As for the Church acting as God is distant, take a minute to listen to conversations in the church and outside the church on God.
Sometimes, we make it sound like God is the CEO of our country club (church) and the only way to hear him is to pay the piper. On other occasions, we use so much Christianese language in explaining our faith that the unchurched or burnt out folks get lost in dialoguing with us. Who would want to attend church if there is Doctrine Police for everything including how to use the church bathrooms?
Jesus' birth changes everything. EVERYTHING.
He makes the idea of having faith as a personal manner. He shows that his kingdom will not be held down by government or religious leaders/institutions. This is not to say that Jesus was/is against government or churches---but that his kingdom would not be held back by people, buildings, or time. Jesus' kingdom continues until today.
The hope, peace, joy, and love....that we so desperately seek....is in God. God gave it to us through the birth of Christ. The feelings and emotions that we as humans tie into the holidays......they will come and go. Cookies will be thrown out. Gifts will be regifted. Ugly sweaters will be used next year.
Jesus brings his kingdom to the ordinary. He does not wait for the religious elite to climb into their towers to visit him. Jesus is everywhere. He can speak to us wherever we are at in life.
Are you ready to talk with him? Put it all out there. It will change your Christmas.....and your life. Forever.