Long time, no see! Sorry for my disappearance, friends – the end of the semester tends to be fairly crazy, and I decided to add to the craziness by participating in NaNoWriMo. But I’m back now!
So you may have noticed that I’ve got a new header and a new blog name… I’ve decided to give the blog a little makeover. You’ll still get the regular Jesus-inspired posts with a whole lot of Scripture, but I’m making some (very slight) changes to the overall tone of this blog. The one-liner up top says it all: “Life, encouragement, and love.” I hope y’all are as excited about this (slight) change as I am!
Anyway… let’s get on with the post!
I think we all know that Christmas is fairly commercialized nowadays. We all love the Christmas season, but far too often we get completely caught up in buying gifts, receiving gifts, decorating, planning our trips, or planning our Christmas parties. It’s so easy to forget that Christmas isn’t a commercial holiday. In fact, it’s just the opposite.
I was watching a Christmas episode of Full House the other day (episode 9 of season 2, called “Our Very First Christmas Show” if you’re interested), and in it, Jesse says something along the lines of, “The very first Christmas was in a manger, and they did okay.”
And that gets at something that’s far too easy to forget in all the hubabaloo of the holiday season nowadays.
Christmas exists because it is a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s the anniversary of the birth of the Son of God to a virgin in a manger. The anniversary of the birth of the man who was also God and who would die for all of us and rise again on the third day, bringing us eternal life through him.
If we take just a minute to read through the Christmas story and see the humble beginnings of Jesus, and then if we go beyond that and read some of Jesus’ teachings, we’d realize pretty fast that this commercialized Christmas is terribly far from the holiday’s roots.
How have we wandered so far away?
But here’s an even more important question: how can we get back to the heart of Christmas?
Last year I decided to read through the Christmas story in the Bible leading up to Christmas Day. It was a beautiful reminder of what the holiday was all about, and it helped keep me from falling (too far) into the trap of the commercial mindset.
This year I want to challenge myself to dive into Jesus’ story even more. I plan on reading through both accounts of Jesus’ birth in scripture twice leading up to Christmas Day. I’m going to start tomorrow reading Matthew 1-2, and then I’m going to read Luke 1-2 on Friday, and then I’ll repeat it on Saturday and Sunday.
See, it’s not enough to just say we know the real reason for the season. God wants us to act on such knowledge. And, I mean, we can all act in different ways, depending on how God calls us, but I think it could be a fun challenge to do the above (or some variation of it).
With that being said, I want to invite all of you guys to partake in this challenge with me. Who’s in?
Let’s commit to reminding ourselves of the true miracle of Jesus’ birth on that first Christmas Day around 2000 years ago.