Living Out Christmas

livingoutchristmas.pngChristmas is one of my favourite times of the year. I’m not going to lie – we get our decorations up pretty early and leave them up pretty late. The truth is, I just love this time of year. Some aren’t as into it, but I am.

I bring this up for a very specific reason…This time of the year is a great time to actually show God’s love in real, practical and tangible ways that don’t come off as weird. You can actually reach out to your family, friends and neighbours in real ways without it seeming odd.

1. You can invite neighbours over for a Christmas party

2. You can make cookies and drop them off

3. You can give small and meaningful gifts to co-workers

4. You can actually invite people to a Christmas Eve service

These are all simple and pretty straightforward things to do, and I mention them because I believe that Christmas is a time of action. The reason we gather together as Christians at Christmas is because God acted. The reason we give gifts to one another is because God acted. The reason we have hope in this season is because God acted.

Again, I bring this all up to remind you of something pretty simple… If God acted on His love for the world, so should we.

So, what might it look like to love those in your world? What might it look like to tangibly remind people that they matter? What might be a way you could surprise someone with an example of their value? The message of Christmas is that God surprised us with His actions, giving us something we weren’t expecting. What might that look like in your life?

I know we all live in different contexts and places, but one thing each of us can do is to show love in those different contexts and places.

So, invite people over for a party, drop by cookies, share a gift, write a note, do something. Remember, we are here today becauseGod did something, so let’s follow His lead this Christmas.

“Daddy Snow It Must Be Christmas”

1457457_10153541584360643_258669238_nHudson has no filter whatsoever. I doubt many three year olds do. I’d love to tell you some examples…but I think most of them are better left out of print…

The point though is that you have no doubt what he is thinking. And he has an ability to just change your perspective on so many things.

Earlier last week with the first kind of snowfall, as I was getting ready to shovel the snow, grumbling about the cold, and not loving the early morning – I was taking Hudson to daycare.

And as soon as he steps on the porch, he starts yelling and dancing instantly. “Daddy it’s here, it’s here, snow is here. Daddy, look ,snow, and that means it’s Christmas…Yeah!!!!” And he started running around, making tracks, jumping up and down and yelling “yeah it’s Christmas.”  I saw quite a few families who were walking their kids to school, look at Hudson, smile, and laugh.

And it dawned on me that I was missing something. I was missing some of the joy, anticipation, and excitement about Christmas. I was missing out because I wasn’t entering in.

So of course we ran around in the snow, and I started rediscovering the joy of this season.

So my question for you is this: have you lost any of the joy and anticipation of the season?

Because Christmas is a great season, there is so much to celebrate, and there is joy to be found. Don’t let the familiarity with Christmas rob you of its wonder.

Because Hudson taught me, and I think any of my neighbors outside, that there is something coming worth getting excited about.

Preparing For Christmas and More Importantly – Christ

1409165_39019246This Sunday we are looking at another Advent theme. We are looking at preparing. The truth is for anything big in our lives we start to prepare. People prepare for weddings for months, the prepare for Christmas for weeks, and prepare for days for birthdays.

The point is that the larger the event is the more we prepare. We think about it, we plan for it, we make adjustments for it.

The question then is how are you preparing for Jesus’ coming?

Because this is a major event. This is a life changing reality. This is what Christmas is all about. So how are you personally preparing your life? And not just preparing your home with decorations and gifts. How are you preparing your spirit and soul for his coming this year?

This is what we are going to be talking about Sunday but I don’t think we need to wait till Sunday to start preparing. Why not take sometime this weekend to prepare your heart for Jesus’ coming. Spend some time with him, talk with him, focus on him. Prepare your house and heart for him, and not just all the friends and family you will be having in.

Because the promise of Advent is that Christ comes. So let’s be ready for his arrival.