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Keep Christ in Christmas (and other places too!)

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December 19

Christ in Christmas (And other places too)

In the first chapter of Colossians, Paul preaches a message that I think would be well received around Christmas time. He talks about how Christ is better than anything. In Colossians he mentions thrones and rulers and heavenly realms. But for our purposes I think it would work just as well to say that Christ is better than Santa Claus or Claymation Christmas specials or even presents under the tree. The point he was making was that there was nothing in the world worth being distracted by to the point that we lose sight of Jesus. He warns- don’t get so focused on politics that you miss Jesus. Don’t be so amazed by nature that you don’t see Jesus. Don’t even let your curiosity about heaven or angels take your mind away from Jesus. Why? Because Jesus is so much better than any of those things! For us that is a good reminder to Keep Christ in Christmas. Don’t become so enamored with shopping or parties or family that you forget that it is all about Jesus. No matter how good those things are- Jesus is better. And Paul tells us why Jesus is better in verses 21-22.
Even though we were his enemies he has reconciled us to himself and by his sacrifice we stand holy and blameless before the Father.

But Paul doesn’t stop there. He has another lesson that we would do well to hear at Christmas time. The first part of verse 23 reads “But you must continue to believe this truth
and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away…”
We work hard to Keep Christ in Christmas, but sometimes I think we forget let him out when it’s all over! At Christmas time we treat each other with love, we become very generous and concerned about those who don’t have enough. We even put our grudges on hold (at least until after Sunday lunch at Grandma’s house). But, aren’t Christians supposed to be like that all year round? Of course we are.

And the end of the message is this: don’t just invite Christ into Christmas- make sure that you invite him into the rest of your life as well. Let him into your workplace. Let him into your home. Let him into your marriage. Let him into your heart. Paul says to the Colossian Christians that he is glad he is suffering when he wrote the book of Colossians because he is
participating in the suffering of Christ that continues for the church. We think about inviting Christ into our hearts as a one time decision- but Paul describes it as so much more than that. Paul says that when he suffers for the gospel it is like Christ is suffering. He says that when he preaches the words of the gospel it is like Jesus himself is talking. In fact Paul says that there is a deep mystery, a secret to Christianity that he wants to share with the gentile
converts in the Colossian churches. It’s in the second half of verse 27- “And this is the secret: Christ lives in you…”

So this year I encourage you: Keep Christ in Christmas, but when the presents are all opened and the last drop of eggnog is drained- remember that peace and goodwill toward men are not just for the Christmas season. He is the reason for the season; let him be the
reason for the rest of your life as well.

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