Running through my head this Christmas season is something I can only describe as a mix between Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and Matthew chapter 1, set to the tune of the old Byrds’ song “Turn, Turn, Turn.”
“What on earth does that mean?” you may be asking. Let me explain:
Christmas is a time for a lot of things. It is a time to remember how God came in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ, to remember His mercies and how He set everything right. It is a time we set aside for Him. It is a time to celebrate and declare the praises of God. It is a time of great blessings, both given and received. It is a time of God’s goodness and His promises fulfilled. It is a personal time, but also a family time and a community time.
The time is upon us. Just like Jesus came in the fullness of time, I believe God has given us the times and the seasons we live in today. I believe that this Christmas provides us with opportunities that we don’t get any other time of year. The door is wide open for us to talk about Jesus. People know about the baby in the manger and see nativities all around. The familiar term “Jesus is the reason for the season,” is used on bumper stickers and social media posts. While the door is open, we should be as vocal as we can, with our faith, as generous as we can, and as joyous as we can with our celebration.
Let’s look at that last statement in a bit more depth.
Be as vocal as you can with your faith.
God has entrusted His church with the message of the gospel. That means we should be looking for the moments where we can share the hope we have been given in Christ. I believe there are more opportunities at Christmas time to share our faith than any other time of the year. How often do you hear the question, “What are you doing for Christmas?” One I have heard lately is, “Are you ready for Christmas?” Those are open doors to talk about church, God’s blessings on your family, the greatest gift we have been given in Christ, and any other thing the Holy Spirit brings to your conversation. Trust the Holy Spirit to lead you to say just what needs to be said, as these opportunities present themselves.
Be as generous as you can.
Christmas is a season of generosity. Many people scoff at the billions of dollars spent this time of year. What if we changed our perspective and rejoiced that people are being generous? How awesome, that as we remember the greatest gift ever given, Jesus Christ, people are also following what God did! Look for the ways to be generous this season. Help a single mom put up her lights. Spend time with someone in a convalescent hospital. Bake cookies for your neighbors. The expressions of generosity are endless.
At the Rock, we take time at Christmas to be generous. Our Christmas at the Rock outreaches help so many people. We will be distributing over 360 gifts to families in our church who wouldn’t have had gifts under the tree otherwise. Our prison ministry is sending gifts into local prisons and juvenile halls. The convalescent ministry is visiting people who are often forgotten. Stocking Stuffers are going out with Rock in the Streets to neighborhoods in need. Be sure to check out our calendar of events here.
What it comes down to is that we are not merely saved to be satisfied, but to serve.
We should be as joyous as we can with our celebration.
Throughout the Biblical accounts of Christ’s birth, we find that there was tremendous joy. Even the forerunner, John the Baptist, caused great joy. The Angelic announcement of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds was glad tidings of a great joy that would be to all people. If that is what the Bible says about the birth of our Lord, then we should be as joyous as the occasion. At the Rock, we will be celebrating Christmas with a live production on the mornings of December 22nd and 23rd. We will be having communion on Christmas Eve, December 24th, at a special time of 5 pm. Our desire is that your experience with God in church would pour out into your family and community. All the lights and decorations, gatherings, and meals should be focused on the joy of the baby who was given to us.
This is the time and this is the season for us to celebrate the birth of our Lord. God came in the flesh in the form of a baby. At the right time He came. Now it is our time. It is our time to declare our wonderful faith, and the greatest story ever told. It is our time to generously give and be the blessing God wants us to be to the people he has placed in our lives. And it is our time to be as joyful as we can be with our celebrations. Merry Christmas to you!