This morning my love preached his second sermon in his series, “Christmas: Take Back the Story.” He preached on how we need to engage the story of Christmas by worshipping Jesus. It was such a moving message, and I found myself getting a bit teary eyed as he closed his message out. Did you realize that Americans spend 450 billion dollars EVERY YEAR on Christmas shopping? EVERY YEAR! 450 billion dollars goes toward ugly sweaters, useless gadgets, unwanted ties, unnecessary toys, and other meaningless items to wrap up and place under our decorated Christmas trees, EVERY YEAR! That is a waste! I am not saying that giving gifts is meaningless and wasteful, but I am saying how we become so consumed with buying more stuff is a waste. Do we really take the time to think about the gifts that we give to others and how it will benefit their lives? Or do we just buy things out of an obligation to buy gifts? Did you know that it only takes 10 billion dollars to help provide clean drinking water around the world? Compare that number (10 billion dollars) to the number that is spent every year on Christmas gifts (450 billion dollars). Hmmm…..something is not adding up folks!
As Brian continued in his message this morning he shared how Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the magi worshipped Jesus. None of them went out to the nearest marketplace to buy Jesus a new toy to play with or a new outfit to wear, and He was the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Emmanuel! No, instead they all gave THEMSELVES. Imagine that concept? Even though the magi brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh they brought them in WORSHIP of JESUS! Everything was centered in Jesus! It was all about Jesus!
At the close of the message Brian brought up some ideas of how we can worship Jesus this Christmas season, and one of them was fridge journaling. This is where you take a post-it-note or piece of paper and write down one thing that Jesus has done in your life that has changed you, and post it on the fridge for you to see everyday. As you look at the note, give thanks to Jesus for how he has changed your life. This is where I got a bit teary eyed. As I sat in the pew and listened to this idea, I started thinking about giving to Jesus. Yes, I know as a Christian I have given my life to Him, but I was thinking on really giving to Jesus. Having Jesus stand in front of me and giving him something, and thinking of how much he has given to me. Talk about overwhelming. Then I thought, every Christmas Eve most of us (usually those with kids) make sure to set out a plate of chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk for Santa, but what do we set out to give to Jesus? Usually it is nothing. That is a saddening thought, and it should pain our hearts that we give so little recognition to the One that gave His life for us.
I pray that we will “Take Back the Story” of Christmas by worshipping Jesus Christ! Leave the ties at the store, and instead give yourself to the One who gave himself for you!
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~Isaiah 9:6