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Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Spirit and Season of Christmas

Here is the devotional i gave at the Christmas Agape Feast last Saturday. Check it out and read it if you have a minute or two. It really ministered to me, and God laid it on my heart to share it. Its about the Spirit and Season of Christmas.

People always talk about "the spirit" of Christmas, or "the season" of Christmas, but never define their terms. Therefore, that leads to the question "what is the Spirit of Christmas and the Season of Christmas? It is not about Santa Claus and his elves making toys. It is not about Frosty the snowman and Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. It's not about Christmas trees, gifts, stockings, and decorations. The Bible defines the spirit and season of Christmas differently from the way the culture wants to define the holiday.

I. The Spirit of Christmas
A.The Spirit of Christmas is to worship Jesus! The primary essence of the holiday is to bow down and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. The use of the word 'spirit' correlates towards "our reason, conscience, and noble affections in contrast to the soul, like our appetites, passions, and desires." So in other words, our understanding and knowledge in our heart, mind, and soul should be concentrated on worshiping Christ. Our appetite should be to worship. Our passion should be to worship. Our desire should be to worship. This is the truth of the Spirit of Christmas. Therefore, the Spirit of Christmas is not about spending time stressing, but spending time sitting at the throne of God worshiping Him.

"And when they saw the Child, they fell down and worshiped Him." (Matthew 2:11a)

B. The Spirit of Christmas is explained in Scripture. From the beginning to the end of the Christmas story account in the Gospel of Matthew and Luke, we see everyone in heaven and on earth worshiping the birth of Jesus Christ, who would be the coming Messiah.
1. Zechariah and Elizabeth worshiped (Luke 1:45, 68)
2. The Angels worshiped (Luke 2:13-14)
3. The Shepherds worshiped (Luke 2:20)
4. Mary and Joseph worshiped (Luke 2:16)
5. The wise men worshiped (Matthew 2:11)

II. The Season of Christmas
A. The Season of Christmas is a special time of the year to remember and thank God for sending His Son Jesus Christ to us, to be the Savior of the world. It is to recount how God sent His only Son to be our propitiation for our sins, and to reconcile us back to Holy God. As the good Christmas hymn goes, "Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!" The Season of Christmas is to glorify the Lord, and to share the Gospel, reconciling sinners to God.

B. The Season of Christmas is to know and understand that its not just a holiday, but a holy day. A season is a special period of time before and after a significant occasion or holiday. This explains to us that the Season of Christmas is based off of a day consecrated and set apart from all other days of the year to glorify Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This is so important to comprehend as a Christian because it is easy for us to get tangled up in the cultural tumbleweed of consumerism and commercialism. Therefore, the Season of Christmas is not about spending time shopping, but spending time sharing the Gospel to lost sinners.

"Now when they had seen him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told by the shepherds." (Luke 2:17-18)

The Spirit of Christmas is to worship Jesus. The Season of Christmas is to glorify God and share the Gospel. The holiday is not about presents, but all about Christ's presence in your life and in others!

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