Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Holiday Different

"The story of Christ's birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love."

This is the beginning line of the "Advent Conspiracy", a website and a movement that has been advocating a different type of Christmas holiday the past two years.

Pastors and churches are being challenged to do Christmas different. To get back to the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is all about God's grace. If you are looking for a good Christmas verse, here's one:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.John 3:16–17 (NIV)
If we understand Christmas we understand the truth behind the teaching of Jesus that it is better to give than to receive.

Santa is likely a good cultural addition as long as we don't confuse Santa with Christ. The real gift at Christmas is the Christ-child. When our children were young, my wife and I decided to tell them the truth behind Santa. It was a great opportunity to celebrate a good man, a 4th. Century bishop who had a reputation for giving. While the fact that our children knew the truth horrified and shocked some of our friends, we felt our children were better off.

Our challenge continues to this day with our grandchildren. We want them to grow up knowing the story of Christ's birth. We will smile when they open their presents at Christmas and enjoy their toys as only children can. We will also encourage them as they grow to keep the story of promise, hope and revolutionary love close to their hearts.

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