Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Lights (10/30/08)
TITLE: An Enlightened Holiday Season
By Doug Laird
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Scripture challenges us to be light bearers (Matt.5: 16), as we go about our daily routines year round, but people seem to be more open to discuss the incarnation of God during the Advent Season than at other times of the year.
As others inevitably bring up the subject of Christmas, it opens the doors of opportunity for a discerning disciple to become a Christmas “light”, shining the light of the Gospel in a world of spiritual darkness, lost in the midst of secular traditions and commercialism.
When asked what your plans are for Christmas, consider opening your response with, “Our family celebrates the birth of Christ by…..”, and then go on to disclose what your holiday agenda.
If nothing else, it will serve as a reminder of what the day or the season is all about. In some cases, it may open the door for further discussion of the true meaning of Christmas.
There is no need to force a message. It is God the Holy Spirit who prepares the message, the messenger, the timing, and the circumstances in which it is to be delivered.
A believer’s Christmas “light” should not be like the electric ones we take out of storage, blow the dust off, plug in, and display in the security and comfort of “doing what everyone else is doing” for a variety of mostly secular reasons.
For a spiritual person, the gratitude of Thanksgiving, the Spirit of Christmas, and the reality of Easter are a part of a lifestyle that is projected year round.
As children, most of us were led to believe in a man called Santa, who maintained a list of who was good and who was bad, and who rewarded the good children accordingly.
Unfortunately, many children grow up with similar conceptions of God. Good people are rewarded by going to Heaven, and bad people are punished by going to Hell, right?
Wrong! People go to Heaven if they are born again while spiritually dead people go to Hell, or what the Bible calls the lake of fire. Relatively good, moral behavior can be the result of being born again, but is never the means to become or remain born again.
An atheist or non-Christian can choose to live a moral lifestyle for a variety of reasons, but will never the less burn forever in the fire of Hell.
The true gift of Christmas could never be earned by being good, nor can it be lost by being bad! It was given to a world that never did, does not now, or ever will, earn or deserve.
The exchanging of gifts, as the means of celebrating a holiday, is an ancient custom in Christian and non-Christian cultures alike. There is nothing wrong with including this practice as part of celebrating Christmas, but Christmas “gifts” should be given and received with the right motivation.
“Gifts” should be given because the giver wants the recipient to have it, not in the spirit of obligation, competition, manipulation or the giver seeking approbation.
True Christmas lights should shed such light in the corners of spiritual darkness so that unbelievers can see their way to a saving knowledge of the Person and Works of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christmas lights further enable those who already are believers to see a clearer path along the course of his/her walk with God.
Such enlightenment can result in a gift that will last for all of eternity!
The Holiday Season is not one of peace and joy for all. The suicide rate tends to escalate as the sadness and hopelessness felt by some are magnified in the midst of the happiness that others are fortunate enough to experience and exhibit. For many, the Good News of the Holiday Season can’t come at a more critical time.
Believers cannot, as individuals, enlighten the whole world. Believers can, however illuminate the environment of our own personal peripheries and minister to those we encounter every day.
In doing so, we can and be used of God to provide the information that others need for the salvation and or edification of their souls.
If we choose to be true Christmas lights this Holiday Season, we will glorify and honor the Lord Jesus Christ, whose birth it is that the Season was established to celebrate.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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