Mince pies, Christmas trees, decorations, gifts, the big feast……. and on the list goes. Today’s commercially driven festival demands a huge investment of time & money. To be able to walk in rest in it, we have to answer the question: ‘What is it all for?’
A REALLY IMPORTANT QUESTION FOR CHRISTIANS
Some celebrate Christmas out of tradition; others, concerned about pagan influences, shun it; a third group have abandoned it, or modified it as a festival due to the surrounding excess; while a last group, have decided that as a Christian festival it has real value, and can be a profound means of grace.
“Everything that does not come from faith is sin,”
To answer that question, we need some ‘silent time’ as discussed in previous posts, sitting in the Lord’s presence with a notebook & pen ....
Write down all the stuff of Christmas you feel you have to engage with. Take each in turn & ask yourself:
PONDERING THE 'TO DO' LIST
Why are they important? It’s an opportunity to keep in touch with old friends & family, and keeps the door open for further contact. It also presents faith opportunities. (See below)
What if we don’t send cards this year? We will need to be in touch at some time soon, or will potentially lose contact. Christmas provides a discipline to get on with the task.
Cost: numbers sent x 53p, time writing, duplicated or personal newsletter in many of them. Can I afford the time? Yes I think it’s an important investment, having relocated this year.
Creative solutions: I can send several to one person to distribute to a group, where friends or family meet regularly; send one card to another group to be displayed centrally; hand-deliver others; investigate sending some e-cards this year, and reduce the list perhaps.
What faith can I invest in it? Christmas card nativity scenes & other ‘religious’ designs may be twee, but they do offer an opportunity to remind friends & neighbours of the Christian heritage in this country, centring around Jesus coming to earth – this is important when the Christian faith is increasingly marginalised in our society. In addition, I can pray over each card for the recipients, that it may carry the Lord’s blessing & presence with it. (Like Paul’s handkerchiefs - Acts 19:12)