Christmas and discipleship. I know these two words don’t seem to fit, but just a few thoughts on this Christmas Eve 2009 at 12:07 AM.
There are many folks that seem to get a little glimmer of faith during this season. They like the songs and the traditions and they usually attend at least one Christmas worship service. But soon after Christmas all the good will, and all the New Year’s resolutions are soon forgotten and they default back to their shallow faith. A faith, if you can call it that, which does not impact their lives at all. We pastors call them Easter or Christmas Christians because that is the only time we usually see them.
As a pastor, I was glad these folks attended on these special days because I knew we had a shot at changing their life and their understanding of being a disciple of Jesus. The Holy Spirit can do far more than we think in the lives of people we have given up on. God is looking for people who are truly committed to Him 24/7 not just when it is convenient or it happens to be that most wonderful time of the year. The bottom line…God wants our undistracted devotion. (1 Cor. 7:35)
For a brief period of time it seems that the season helps us eliminate some of those distractions but for many it just does not last. We live in a culture that is full of opposition and distractions that move us away from that singular aim of following Jesus as a disciple. We live in a politically correct culture that encourages us to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” It’s a “Winter Parade” not a “Christmas parade” or a “Winter Solstice concert” not a “Christmas concert.” 2,000 years later and the name of Christ is still considered dangerous and even scandalous in some circles.
Some have yet to discover that the Prince of Peace is real and He can change your life forever.
Sad to admit but we’ve come so far from New Testament Christianity that we qualify our descriptions of what a believer is. For instance, we say, “She is a committed Christian.” Is there another kind of Christian? Or we say, “He is a fully devoted follower of Christ.” Can you follow Christ without being a fully devoted follower?
Christmas gives us a chance to embrace fully our devotion to the Lord and to renew our commitment to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It began in a stable and ended on the cross, but we know it really didn’t end on the cross. He arose!
Merry Christmas, let’s keep telling the story of God’s amazing love.