The Twin Realities of Christmas

I’ve been thinking about this for a while; the twin realities of Christmas.  You know what they are:

The donkey carrying Mary to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus – The donkey carrying Jesus into Jerusalem where He would face a trial and execution

The angel chorus celebrating the birth of Jesus – The angel chorus crying at the crucifixion of Jesus

The swaddling clothes surrounding and warming the new born Jesus – The burial clothes surrounding the cold, dead body of the crucified Savior

The Birth of the Savior, a time for celebrating – Herod killing all the male babies of Israel, a time for suffering

The manger, made of rough-hewn wood, holding up the newborn Jesus;  the cross, made of rough-hewn wood, holding up the crucified Savior

The fun of the holiday season with family, friends, parties, gifts, celebrations – So many in the world who are sad and downtrodden because they don’t have family, friends, parties to attend, gifts or celebrations to attend

We celebrated like most of you.  We had family all around us, we gave and received lots of gifts (way too many for my comfort level), ate way too much and celebrated the birth of our Savior.  All the while there are those around us, some who we know intimately, who did not celebrate because they suffer grief over the death of a spouse or child, or they have no family, no friends, no cause to celebrate because they don’t know the Savior.

So my friends, how are we supposed to deal with these twin realities of Christmas?

I think God loves it when we party in His name!  He expects and desires that we PROPERLY celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  It’s a good thing to party at Christmas, but at the same time, I think God expects us to do something about the twin reality of Christmas.  To me that means we spend less on each other and give more to those who have real need.  We spend a little less time with family and spend more time with those who have no family.   It means we travel less and give more.  Give more time, money, talent, energy, emotional and spiritual resources, and more of ourselves to those who don’t have a reason to celebrate. 

Pam and I have already talked about ways to deal with the twin realities of Christmas for December 2010.  Why don’t you think about how you can be a part of the new reality of Christmas?  Remember, we celebrate Christmas because it was the ultimate gift.   God gave us His only Son.  What are you going to do with this reality?  What are you going to change next Christmas?  Think about it and let me know.   This should be fun!

Be encouraged my friends!

Randy

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jennifer on January 2, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Good thoughts! Greg & I will have to pray about this for next year. We did throw Jesus a birthday party this year, which was fun & next year we can take it up a notch with giving some gifts to kiddos in need…letting the children pick out the gifts for the recipients. We also traveled a lot less this year, making life more simple. If I’m not sick next year then we’d be more than happy to share that day with those who have no one to celebrate with…

    Reply

  2. Posted by Barbara Willis on January 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Christmas ’08 our son-in-law graciously thanked us for our gift to him, and asked that we give something charitable in ’09, rather than a gift to him. We carefully thought about it/prayed about until October, when we heard a missionary to India speak at our daughter and son-in-law’s church in Houston. It clicked, and our gift to Phillip Christmas ’09 was a contribution to this missionary’s organization. It actually moved Phillip to tears. This will become our Christmas tradition.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Nikki on January 5, 2010 at 3:47 am

    Randy that was a great one- I will definately share with my guys – we did do things a lot differently this year – we kept our focus on the meaning and not the receiving! I hope to make this 4 in a row ringing bells with the boys as well! Thanks for your guidance and encouragement!   

    Reply

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