Hello Calvary Family! I pray that your Thanksgiving was wonderful. Although it may be hard to see sometimes, we all have a lot for which to be thankful. Now as we approach the most holy of all days, Christmas, the birth of Jesus as our Savior, we continue to pause in awe of God’s great love. Well at least most of us do. My son and I were in a store back in October and everyone seemed to be eagerly anticipating celebrating Halloween but this particular store was playing Christmas music. I asked my son if he heard the music and he said, “They are playing Christmas music already?” We had a comical discussion about the commercialization of Christmas and the loss of the significance of its meaning by the world. However, it’s not just the world who has lost the awe and excitement of Christmas. Christians have been sucked into the vortex of belligerent emotions and actions surrounding the best Christmas deals.
The lines at various stores snaking around the parking lot for almost a mile on “Black Friday,” rival those of a general admission rock concerts. Some people camp out for days in advance for a chance to be the first to get that item they neither can afford nor really want/need. They stay awake all night, don’t eat, and will do anything to stay ahead of the next shopper. Some even have impromptu title fights to see who will win their place in the shopper’s “hall of shame.” I feel for them as they chase after material things that will not last. After all, this is supposed to be a time of happiness, great cheer and good will toward everyone. There is nothing wrong with buying gifts and celebrating Christmas with loved ones but the celebration and anticipation should always be couched in the premise of honoring Jesus’ birth.
Yet, I am reminded that regardless of how much we all have been consumed with things that have nothing to do with the birth of Christ, it’s not too late to snap out of it. As Christmas approaches, we look forward to remembering the birth of Jesus Christ and what that means. St. John 3:16-17 (KJV), says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world not to condemn the world; but that through Him might be saved.” God gave us Jesus so we would not perish, have everlasting life, and be saved. God could have given up on all of us a long time ago but He did not. He wants us to have the most out of the life He gave us on Earth and in Heaven. But we will never know the joy that comes from living in Jesus chasing after empty relationships, self-fulfillment, or material things.
We are in the season of Advent which celebrates the coming of Jesus at His birth and the coming again that we anticipate in the future. When He comes again, He is coming to bring us home to live with Him forever (St. John 14:1-3). Jesus made preparations for us to on the ultimate “Black Friday” when He came to die on the cross and rose on the third day for you me. Still, before He went to the cross, Jesus was born in a lowly manager. There may not have been room for Him at the Inn but we must make room for Him in our hearts. (St. Luke 2:7; Romans 10:9-10). I pray that this Christmas Season you and I remember and anticipate the real meaning of Christmas–Jesus Christ. For it was by His Grace and Mercy that we live today. Merry Christmas!!
Pastor Jabulani McCalister