Tag Archives: Christmas

Born To Die

Today, Christmas 08. is an interesting day. I feel as if there is something missing today. I can not say it, explain it, or even wrap my mind around it. I think we did better this year than in past years with not going overboard…not having a job helps that tremendously. We are starting to move towards a minimal Christmas and are taking different steps to do so. So far I am glad to see progress being made however, I still feel materialistic and ‘American’! Sure I got some things that I wanted (that were paid for by the same bank account that doesn’t have enough 11 months out of the year) and I was able to see my family receive some things that I know they will appreciate, and some they won’t…ahem; but for the most part there is still the feeling that I have not honored the One who was born to die.

I can always count on my dad to make sure that books are on the gift list. This year was especially exciting as I received a two volume set of daily readings by D.A. Carson titled For the Love of God. This is a work that is regarded as one of the best at showing Christ in ALL of Scripture. Many of my extra-non-reformed friends would shudder at the thought of pushing the Gospel into too much of the Old Testament, but I would venture to say that the Old Testament has been misunderstood for too long by Joe-shmo theologues like myself. I look forward to delving into a whole new chapter of the Gospel story called…dum dum dummmm…the Old Testament. I pray…honestly not Christianese…that these volumes will open my eyes to what the Bible has to say about Jesus and His relationship with me. The Gospel is so much more than 1.5 hours out of my weekend. Seriously…if it isn’t…then church is lame. I can think of a bunch of things that I would rather be doing than sitting in a church building on Sunday mornings if that is where the Gospel is.

Ok, off my soapbox…the kids just go up.


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See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. – Colossians 2:8

So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. – Matthew 15:6

It has been bugging me all season. I can’t keep it in any longer. Super-Christians are driving me crazy! You know the type. Just after Thanksgiving they start in. “This will be the year we focus on the TRUE meaning of Christmas!” “We’re not going to let the ‘world’ take over Christmas.” Here’s the one that tops them all. “We’re going to put CHRIST back in CHRISTmas!” Ugh, I just threw up in my mouth a little. Seriously, I know I have said it in the past when I was under the influence of religion, however I do believe that I was slipped a micky for the last one. The reason I get so upset is that when looking back on this holiday we see nothing but the manger. I do believe it is a great time to reflect as the calendar gives us a great opportunity to do so, but to say that this is OUR holiday as if we didn’t steal it first? History lesson…winter solstice has been a huge party in almost every civilization. Centuries ago in Britain this holiday was like Mardi Grasand Halloween combined…x30. What is now called carolling…was once a drunken mob that would sing songs that would make you blush while going from house to house looting. The Greeks used to hold a week long celebration of self-indulgence. The church decided that we needed to holi-fy this time so we came up with Jesus’ birthday. Conveniently placed on the one season that most definitely would NOT have been when Jesus was born. Don’t even get me started about how Santa Claus was a response BY the church!

So, how then do we respond? Christmas is what it is. I am not advocating a reformation of Christmas. I enjoy Advent, Christmas and even Epiphany this year…however, it’s all tradition. Tradition I tell you! Our Christmas traditions are like whate washed tombs…nice on the outside but inside they are filled with dead men’s bones! Who are we to demand that ‘they’ put Christ back in Christmas? “We need more ‘real’ Christmas songs”, I heard someone declare the other day. Oh?…REAL Christmas songs? Would those be the drunken bar tunes people would sing at they demanded food?…or do you mean the ones that make you feel better than other people as you sing about baby Jesus in golden fleece diapers?

Forget about Christmas…I want to put Christ back in CHRISTian! That is where I struggle, that is where my sin sits. When I read Romans I don’t see  our position before God having anything to do with redeeming holidays. I don’t read Colossians 2:20-23 and see our lust for an old-fashioned Christmas as anything but self made religion. As I sat here in my seat a few weeks ago I caught myself thinking about what I could do this year to make this a meaningful Christmas. It finally hit me today while speaking to Barry. Repent. I can make this a meaningful Christmas by acknowledging my need for repentance and seeing that baby as the One who was born to die. Everything I do , say, or think is just like filthy rags.

He must increase, but I must decrease. – John 3:30

I want to leave you with some words from Jesus Saves by Travis Cottrell and David Moffitt.

He will live, our sorrow sharing, Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves. He will die our burden bearing, Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves. “It is done!” Will shout the cross, Christ has paid redemption’s cost, While the empty tomb’s declaring, Jesus Saves!…Freedom’s calling, chains are falling, hope is dawning bright and true. Day is breaking, night is quaking, God is making all things new. Jesus Saves!

Oh to grace, how great a debtor, Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves. Are the saints who shout together, Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves…

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