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Presents vs. Presence

The Gospel according to Charlie Brown is not quite as eloquent as Pastor Chad but Charlie Brown’s Christmas does get its point across. Charlie Brown is depressed because of all the commercialism of Christmas. He is sent to buy a Christmas tree and finds a tree lot full of all kinds of aluminum trees. After some search, he finds a scrawny little fir tree with the needles rapidly falling off. But, it was a real tree! His friends tried to help by elaborately decorating it. This makes him sad again because he thinks this is again demeaning Christmas. Then, Linus steps forward and quotes the passage from the Bible about the birth of Jesus. This helps some but Charlie Brown continues to look for ways to capture the real meaning of Christmas. One of his friends tells him they are nice to him at Christmas time but Charlie asks why they are not nice to him all year long. Because of Jesus’ presence in our lives we can and should live our lives so that His love shows through us all year long. Pastor Chad noted that the Magi traveled 900 miles taking 3.5 months to find Jesus and worship Him, not just a haphazard spur of the moment action. Just a Jesus was not militant in His approach to His life on earth, He is not militant nor rigid in how He wants us to live our lives. He does give us guidelines and encourages us to use our ideas, talents and ingenuity to honor and worship Him. As you continue to think about and look for ways to make Jesus the center of your Christmas worship, God will show you what is right for you and your family. Pastor Chad gave some good approaches. Just as the Magi gave up their time to find and worship Jesus, we should to. Spending time with Jesus is an excellent way to get to know Him better and show that we care about Him. We can do this by ourselves, with family, with friends. Make time for Jesus, tell Jesus you want to spend time with Him and you are doing it because He is king of your life. You can even honor Jesus while shopping. It is amazing how many people you see while out shopping. In our Connect Group we talked about being mentally prepared to share Jesus with our friends and acquaintances, even on the spur of the moment. That does not mean a three point 45 minute sermon, but we can share what Jesus has done in our lives or what the real Christmas means to us. Of course we are not in this alone. As we spend time with Jesus He will prepare us for those encounters which He knows are awaiting us. So, especially this time of year, concentrate on Jesus and spend time with Him. Develop life habits that show Jesus’ love now and throughout the whole year and look for ways that will honor Jesus and show Him that you love Him.

What do you think?