Memory/Meditation Verse: In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. ~ John 1:1-2,14 (NLT)
Living Out Loud (LOL) Christmas...
What does that really mean? When you hear the word Christmas most think of decorating that perfect trees and hanging bright lights on our homes. This is fun but....
There are Black Friday sale's and long lines at the check out counters as we find that great deal or that perfect gift. This is trying yet worth it but....
There will be family gatherings with an abundance of food and warm drinks by a fireplace. All this is good, but...
Many families will follow the tradition of reading the Christmas story from God's Word before exchanging their gifts for each other. This too is good but...
Many people will go above and beyond to help someone else in need by their giving of time or monies. This is great but...
Is it living Christmas or is it living the holiday?
I believe living Christmas Out Loud can be all of these but more importantly it is living out our salvation that came from the baby in the manger. It's unwrapping salvation's story. My Pastor Michael Craft said it so well in his message this weekend...
"Could the word Christmas be a verb...and a mission? God interrupted history and was birthed into the world. He was what everyone needed and what everyone was craving. Jesus wants to Christmas (birth himself) in you and through you and you have the chance to birth Him anywhere and everywhere that you go."
Jesus Christmases in us. Christmas in action. Our salvation in action. Living like God is with us and in us. The gift of God himself coming to earth, the gift of His Holy Spirit left for us when Christ returned to his Father's side.
See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.” ~ Matthew 1:23 (HCSD)
Christmas is living out loud Jesus all year long. Making it our mission. No matter where our life has been, what we have done, how we have lived, we allow God to interrupt our life and to be everything we need and the one thing we crave the most.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen. ~ 1 Timothy 1:12-17 (NLT)
Christmas is seeing the gift of salvation found in the manger lived out on the cross. Christmas is to embrace a love so undeserving to the greatest of sinners-you and I.
Christmas is embracing the love of Jesus and gifting it back to Him by falling in-love with with Him more and more each day. It is Christmasing Jesus into the lives of other.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. ~ Romans 12:1-2 (Message)
Beth Moore penned it well when she wrote the poem (Jesus Day By Day, 2008):
He is Jesus.
The One and Only.
Transcendent over all else.
To know Him is to love Him.
To love Him is to long for Him.
To long for him is to finally reach
soul hands into the One true thing
we need never get enough of.
Take all you want.
Take all you need.
Till soul is fed.
And your spirit freed.
Till dust is dust.
And Face you see.
He's all you need.
Christmas in action. Christmas as a mission. Unwrapping salvation's story. Embracing God. Jesus Christmases in us.
Not to us, Yahweh, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your faithful love, because of Your truth. ~ Psalm 115:1 (HCSB)
Striving to live Jesus Out Loud~Pamela