Friday, December 7, 2007

rethinking Christmas: the conclusion

What do we do at Christmas that really reflects the change-the-world reality of Christ’s birth?

I’ve spent a lot of time lately considering this question. Here’s how I sum up the conclusion I’ve come to (for now): I think Christmas is a time for Christians and the Church to be exceptional…even extraordinary.

The Church is always supposed to be that anyway. We are to mirror our Leader by being a people of celebration, of abundant life, of healing and peace, of hospitality and uplifting conversation, of open arms to all, of generosity and compassion. But don’t just frame up your perception of these things on the cultural norm. Think counter-cultural. Think next-level. Jesus did. He said that people would know we are His disciples in two primary ways: our love for one another (John 13:34-35) and our good works (John 15:8; Matthew 5:16).

So, let us be extraordinary this Christmas. Let’s love one another and demonstrate love to a broken world in exceptional ways. Give of your time, your energy, your money, your love. Give to people who can’t give back to you. Give so much that you’ll have to learn what it means to live by faith—even if just for awhile (just don’t go into debt!). Do it now, while it’s cool and trendy (‘cause it’s Christmas) and then keep doing it long after that…and surprise people with the way you live, and love, and give all year through.

Alas, my ramblings have led me to another conclusion, and I’ll end with this: Perhaps what we Christians should do every Christmas to reflect the change-the-world reality of Christ’s birth is to stretch our hearts with greater commitments to love, compassion and generosity so that we can fit more of that stuff in throughout the next year.

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