Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I am not above...

...reusing old posts.  *grin*  Especially when the message hasn't changed! We had a ladies' Christmas ornament exchange at the beginning of December and our theme was "Traditions" -- we talked a lot about what we do to get ready for the holidays. I asked our Olympian team leader, Laureen, if she would present the lesson she taught the Olympians in 2008. I blogged about it then, and thought I would share it again with you this season because it truly captures what is so SPECIAL about Christmas.

What is the meaning of Christmas?
  • CHRIST = the Messiah, Jesus, the Son of God
  • MAS = "to celebrate"
So, as we enter the Christmas season, we ought to do so with the recognition that we are Celebrating Christ!

How do we celebrate Christ?

1. PRAY to Him! Thank Him for being born as a baby so long ago. Thank Him for living like one of us. Thank Him for not letting the cup pass from Him (Luke 22:42) -- thank Him for His great love, a love that took Him to the Cross in our place. Thank Him for His power over death -- His resurrection and promise to those who trust in Him of their eternal hope.

2. WORSHIP Him! This Christmas season, don't get carried away with the spirit of the holiday; rather, worship Jesus, the reason for the holiday, in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Praise Him. Spend time with Him. Serve Him. Love Him. Honor Him. And remain steadfast in Him.

3. POINT OTHERS to Him! Do the items you put around your house at Christmas demonstrate your love and devotion to Jesus? Or are they simply trinkets of a secular holiday? I bought a 3-headed snowman for the top of my tree in 2008 (I know, it sounds odd...but I promise you it was cute in the box!) Something about having it at the top of my tree didn't set right. Everytime I walked into the room it just struck me as odd! Our star is back in place, and after this lesson, I purposed to use it to tell others about the night Jesus came. It's my reminder of God's faithfulness and His great gift. Of those "wise men" who sought the King. Of the bright Light He sent into the world that very first Christmas night. 

Dan's small group lesson also struck me as powerful. My girls, we talked about these three points -- Dan went a step further and encouraged his boys to give gifts to Jesus that He would like. What are those gifts? A life surrendered to Him; time given in love and service; an obedient spirit; a humble attitude; all the things Scripture teaches us as followers of Jesus. The wise men brought significant gifts to Jesus, reflecting who He is. We, too, ought to offer up gifts of ourselves (Rom. 12:1-2) that are worthy of our Great Savior.

What a neat lesson! What a powerful reminder of what Christmas truly is about. Not Santa Claus and Rudolph and cookies and caroling and mistletoe. Those are all nice things, but they shouldn't be the motivation for why we stop on December 25th every year and "Celebrate Christ."

May you experience the comfort of His love, the joy of His salvation, and the peace of His presence this Christmas and in the New Year!

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