Random musings for this time of year...
1. I have already spoken of the rampant consumerism that infects us during this time of year, but I wanted to get a bit more particular. One of the affects of the 'Christmas Shopping' bug is one that is not discussed often. That is, the families who are struggling to simply get by, are put into the position of going into the tar pit of credit card debt during the holiday to ensure that their children have the latest and greatest junk which will be obsolete by NEXT Christmas, when, once again, parents will shell out untold millions on games and 'stuff', much of which depicts the worst side of our society. In the USA it is not uncommon to see children walk through malls, stores, church, completely hypnotized by a stupid little game. And this is called 'Christmas'! The celebration of the birth of Messiah has now become the time of debt... The one who came to release us from the debt of sin, is now celebrated by placing people into the debt of Mastercard!
2. Most people, including many Christians, are happy to put a creche on their lawn or go and look at the one displayed at the local church, and KEEP Jesus as a baby. They ooohhh and aaahhh over the 'cute' baby, but never get past that to realize the awesomeness of the event that occurred two thousand years ago. They are perfectly content to boycott Target because it refuses to put the word Christmas in its catalog and on its signs, yet dare they boycott this, or this? These are both, in my opinion, not only tawdry, but dishonor the advent of the Son of God, the Alpha and Omega, the Wonderful Counselor, Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace) as much as Target's 'slight' of Christmas. Target is a business of the world; why are some surprised that they don't join hands with the Christian community in celebrating the birth of the Messiah? I am MUCH MORE appalled by the manger scenes that denigrate the birth of Christ, that are openly and opulently displayed in Christian stores!
The ones who are very willing to get all soft and mushy over the BABY, shrink from the CROSS! These people may KNOW their purpose in life, but they do not understand Christ's purpose for coming to earth! As a matter of fact, for some, apparently He came to provide 'family time'. This is reflected by those who closed their church on this day!
3. Why did Christ come to earth? What was the purpose that drove Him? In John 12:23-32, as Jesus approaches His date with the cross we hear Him say this: And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."
So as we fawn over the baby let us never forget the true WHY of His advent. Marcos Gonzalez takes our minds from the first advent to second advent in his post found here. Let us never forget that this baby in the manger came to pay the cost for His people, and when He returns, those who today love the little baby in the manger, may well be shocked by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, triumphantly returning!
“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -
Monday, December 12, 2005
Random musings for this time of year...