A Jesus Christmas
Here's my disclaimer: I'm a pastor. Now you know. But that's not why I write about a Jesus Christmas.
Last week I preached a message in which I encouraged my church to allow a "tsunami of praise" to flow through them this Christmas season. One of our church members blogged about the message. You can also listen to it here.
I asked two questions in the message:
How have I communicated it this week?
What would it look like if everyone in our church to use their voices, their pens, their social media to sing, proclaim, and declare God’s faithful love to our world?
So here's my answer... and I don't write this as a pastor:
I love Jesus Christ with all my heart.
I want others to discover His goodness, His mercy, His forgiveness, His hope, His peace, His power to change you. He has changed (and is changing) me.
I was seven years old when I was "saved" - when I made a conscious decision to pray and ask Jesus to come into my life. When I released my seven year-old self into His arms, committing all that I knew of myself then into His hands, trusting that He is real, that He is who the Bible says He is, and believing with all my heart that He will joyfully allow me into heaven because of my simple belief in Him.
I was a regular church-goer as a child and youth - sometimes dragged to church when my immaturity or selfishness craved more bed or wanted to forgo "Sunday night church." It was in junior high that I heard a man - he wasn't a minister - speak at a youth group retreat on the importance of "daily quiet time." He explained that reading the Bible daily and growing in prayer was important to cultivate and enjoy my relationship with God.
It wasn't about attending church (though that is significant because God made us interdependent). It was about loving Jesus and discovering daily with new surprise.. just HOW MUCH Jesus loves ME. The childhood song so many of us learned is true:
Jesus loves me! This I know For the Bible tells me so Little ones to Him belong They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me Yes, Jesus loves me Yes, Jesus loves me The Bible tells me so.
And so this Christmas, as I reflect on this amazing journey of life I've been on, I can sing, declare, and proclaim with everyone else that Jesus is Christmas. He is life. He is joy. He is my Savior.
All the trite Christmas expressions..
("Jesus is the reason for the season")
cannot sustain the sublime significance of a Savior born to die. The manger leads to the cross.
("Wise men still seek him.")
Indeed. But the deeper reality is that for me - not a pastor, just a guy - Jesus lives. He loves me. It is my earnest desire that you explore the story of Jesus. Start with Google, or start with Luke 2. The important thing is just that you begin. That YOU seek.
Merry Christmas, and may you encounter and embrace the love of Jesus.