Hi! It’s been a minute. We have celebrated multiple holidays since my last post and I hope they were a joy to you. And if not, I pray that God will comfort you in your grief or disappointment. My celebrations included both, but also many, many sweet times. But now that a new year is in progress, I’m left to ponder where we have been and where we are going. This is nothing new for many of us as the calendar turns over. But I’m not talking about resolutions or restarts.
Maybe you have been walking with Jesus for a long time. Or maybe your knowledge is limited. But what struck me during the shopping and revelry is how much of the world celebrates baby Jesus (whether they know it or not). Mainstream movies (ok, Hallmark movies. Don’t judge.) feature religious Christmas carols and church services. And people who don’t regularly attend church show up for the ritual or the story of the Christ child.
That baby Jesus feels meek and mild. It’s even in the songs! I will venture to say He feels harmless to us. No threat. It doesn’t cost us much to praise a tiny baby. Celebrating the birth of that baby with the beautiful story of the stable and the manger is easy. But once the nativity sets are packed away (ok, ALL of my decorations aren’t put away yet), do we still think about Him?
What Do We Do Now that Christmas is Over?
At Christmas it’s easy to imagine Jesus enshrined as a baby forever. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Jesus grew into a man who was both worshipped and despised. He lived a sinless life – so hard for us to understand – and died an agonizing death on a cross as punishment for OUR sins. He made a way for us to have relationship with our holy God. And because of all He has done, He demands our ALL. Our obedience, our allegiance, our surrender, our lives.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! This is not what we think about when we light a candle and sing about “the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay”! But even that lyric from “Away in a Manger” holds a key word. “Lord”. Are we truly willing to make Him Lord of us? That means putting aside our wants and desires for His. Seeking His glory and renown and not our own. Loving Him through obedience to His Word. Even the parts we may not like. It means being counter-cultural. Even if we look foolish to those around us.
Are you ready for that kind of sacrifice? Maybe instead of setting goals for 2024 that we probably won’t keep (just being a realist), it might be time to examine our commitment to Jesus. It was pretty easy to celebrate baby Jesus in December. But are you ready to worship King Jesus all year long?
“For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Col. 1:16-17 ESV
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