Thursday, December 15, 2005

REFLECTIONS FROM THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS - Part 4 (Conclusion) Who-ville they sayThat the Grinch's small heart Grew three sizes that day!And the minute his heart didn't feel quite so tight, He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast!And he... ..HE HIMSELF...! The Grinch carved the roast beast!

The Christmas season has a deep, spiritual meaning that can serve as a source of renewal of our own faith and spiritual life! As we look at the events that surround the birth of Jesus there are a variety of attitudes and emotions that are displayed. These reflect the spirit of Christmas. Reflecting upon the REAL spirit of Christmas can help us find spiritual renewal all year through.We live in a society that is lacking of hope. For many, Christmas is a depressing time of year for a variety of reasons yet it was the angels announced a new message of hope to the shepherds…
-good news for all people, a savior was coming! Not a dictator, or political leader, or a great prophet but a savior. There was peace, man’s greatest quest is for true peace and good will... a satisfaction, delight, a kind wish or purpose, good pleasure, an easily-produced longing for it.

There is a message of hope today that is older than the earth and yet new each time it is heard. That message is as real today as it was some 2,000 years ago-Jesus Christ is the only source of hope we have. In Jesus is there is good news, salvation, peace and good will.

The real spirit of Christmas is a spirit of hope. The message was announced by angels that a child had been born. This was no ordinary child, Jesus was different, not from earth but from heaven. In Star Trek the brave explorers go boldly where no one has gone before to seek out new life. The UFO enthusiasts anticipate the coming of a superior life form to this earth. A new life, a superior life came to this earth 2,000 years ago!

-John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. -John 17:14,16 I am not of the world. -John 18:36 My kingdom is not of this world:

People do a lot of crazy things in the hope of finding a new quality of living-a new career, a new location, a new spouse, a new name, a new physical appearance, new friends BUT the same old problems still follow them.Only in Jesus Christ can we find a new life!
-Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. -2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

The real spirit of Christmas is a spirit of new life for all that will receive. One of my favorite Christmas songs when done right is "Joy to the World" but the birth of Jesus did not bring joy to everyone.-Matthew 2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Jesus brought Joy to those who understood scripture and loved God!-Matthew 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. Jesus is the source of Joy today.
John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full-Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
There was excitement among the shepherds - Luke 2:15-18 They were excited about their search and encounter with Jesus. The Christian life should be a life of excitement - why? Because it is easier to do something you are excited about be it attending worship gatherings, praying, reading, worshipping, witnessing, working.When the fires of excitement burn low, we need to let the real spirit of Christmas touch our hearts.

There were people anxiously awaiting the arrival of Jesus.Simeon and Anna - Luke 2:25-32, 36-38-they were in tune with the Word, the Spirit and the times. As believers our lives should be marked by a spirit of expectancy, daily expecting God to show up and do something! Daily looking for the return of Christ because we can get to a place where we are no longer living in expectancy and then ‘old age,’ or a dryness of spirit sets in.The real spirit of Christmas can restore expectancy.

Our highest calling is to worship our Creator. The world in general no longer worships YHWH. The three kings worshipped - Matthew 2:1-2, 11. Worship opens the treasures of our heart and lays them at the feet of Jesus, it is interesting when our worship can become routine, dead, unfeeling. The real spirit of Christmas will restore life and feeling to our worship!

So what does all this mean? Similar to the Grinch, let the real spirit of Christmas get a hold of your life, it will completely change you and it is not for a season, it is for an eternity.


SoulPastor said...

A special SHOUT OUT to Simple Plan for the following Song!

My Christmas List"

Santa is coming tonight
And I want a car, and I want a life
And I want a first class trip to Hawaii
I want a lifetime supply
Of skittles & slurpees and Eskimo pies
I want a DVD,
A big screen TV
Just bring me things that I don't need

'Cuz now it's Christmas
And I want everything
I just can't wait
So don't stop spending
I want a million gifts, that's right
Don't forget my Christmas list tonight
'Cuz now it's Christmas

Somebody take me away
Or give me a time machine
To take me straight to midnight
I'll be alright

I want a girl in my bed
Who knows what to do
A PlayStation 2
I want a shopping spree
In New York City
Just bring me things that I don't need


I wish I could take this day
And make it last forever
And no matter what I get tonight
I want more

It's Christmas and I want everything
I just can't wait
It's Christmas and I want everything now

And I want everything
I just can't wait
So don't stop spending, I
Want a million gifts,
That's right
And I can't wait 'til midnight
Don't forget my Christmas list tonight
'Cuz now it's Christmas

younghands said...

So is commenting on your own blog before anyone else does the same as sending mail to yourself so that the neighbors think you are popular?

SoulPastor said...

Younghands....a shameless attempt at trying to be funny...or just promoting your own blog...I don't know. I was just adding something that I thought was appropriate for this whole Christmas stuff thing! Leaving off from where I started. So there I am, left vulnerable for you! Remember, I know where you work!
Have a great Christmas!

cr said...

I know that I personally, am so tired of Christmas, as we know it. Honestly, I don't even have the words to tell you. I ask myself, How did it come to this? We celebrate family birthdays, by giving a gift to the "birthchild". So why at the celebration of Christ's birth do we lavish gift upon gift to ourselves? Why are we not actually celebrating the "birthchild" who is Christ? Why are we celebrating us?

I do love to show my kids I love them with a present(s) they have longed for. And I have tried to implement change in my own home. Not an easy task, when I myself am guilty of raising them with this same mentality that Christmas is about receiving presents....oh yeah - also giving to those we love. I try to influence members of extended family to make change, so as not to give meaningless gifts....many cannot be convinced.

I know Christmas is about God's gift to us - His Son, but we Christians have fallen deep into the trap of a commercialized Christmas, and take great joy in it too. We then dare to pompously cry out when the north american culture wants to rename it the Holiday Season. Why not? C'mon, let's begin at least to be honest with ourselves, as to what we are actually doing. Yes, we make sure to read the Christmas story on Christmas morn, so we can say we are celebrating Jesus, but do we actually continue the celebration for the remainder of the day for Him whose birthday it really is?

I am at a loss, but know that my spirit is unsettled, and I must affect change somehow within those I am responsible for. Perhaps we should actually set a day apart as one previous blogger mentioned and really make that a day of honest celebration of our Saviour's birth.
Let me tell you, I speak firstly to myself here, before any others.