Archive for December 12, 2011

December 11, 2011

The Drum (Part 1)

Luke 2:1-20

It’s that time of year again. Yes, it’s Christmas. The time for decorations, lights, sweaters (everywhere except Florida), cider, great food, friends, family, traffic, stress, overcrowded malls, and gifts. It also means carols that began just after July 4th and will go through Memorial Day. Sorry, maybe it just seems that way. No, I like Christmas carols and Christmas music …during Christmas. I digress.

The song “Little Drummer Boy” was always a favorite of mine growing up. But I never really understood the meaning or took the song’s message into context as it relates to “the giving of a gift.” Now I have to be honest when I say that I am not the biggest fan of the Christmas holiday. Yes, you read it right. No typo here. I know that I have just thrown many of you into an uproar and simply cannot believe that a Christian, especially one who claims to be an “outspoken and highly motivated servant of the Almighty” would say that he was not a fan of Christmas.  I am going to pause here for a second……or two….. Good. Hopefully things have calmed down where you are, you didn’t lose your testimony, and your blood pressure has come back to a relatively normal level. If it hasn’t, please take some deep breaths and think happy thoughts. It’s okay. I’ll wait for you. I don’t want you to miss out on the rest of the message.

I said I wasn’t a fan of the Christmas HOLIDAY, not the reason why we celebrate Christmas. Christ was the greatest Gift ever given. Period.  And the gift He brings is eternal life with Him in heaven. While I could jump into full pastoral discourse, I see no need for it. Bottom line: It really doesn’t get any better than God’s Gift and the gift of salvation. Now. What I am not a big fan of is what the Christmas holiday has turned into…a “keepin’ up with the Jones’ and trying to get everything that’s hot this year while making sure the kids get more than last year in order to outdo the neighbors and coworkers in a quest – to the death if necessary – for the ultimate gift despite the mounting debt but it’s never quite enough” holiday. I have to ask you, does that sound like a holiday where Christ is at the center? You don’t have to respond. We know the answer.

We as people, especially us men, need to realize that we bring absolutely nothing to the table. It’s God’s unlimited grace that allows us to enter into His presence. It’s not what we bring through our abilities, talents, or our works. He doesn’t need us. He created the heavens and the earth for crying out loud. He is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. But despite our inadequacies, He wants to be involved in every single little aspect of our lives. All He asks of us is…us. We think His love is because of us and what we do for Him. Is this you? However, as Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) tells us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast.” On the other side, many of us feel so unworthy, so undeserving of anyone’s love, much less God’s love, because of what we have done or even continue to do, that the gifts of grace and forgiveness are far beyond our reach or comprehension.  We feel there is no way God wants to hear from me, could ever love me, or would ever want a “gift” from me. Is that you? Romans 5:8 (NIV) says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Check out Around the Corner next week for Part 2 of “The Drum”.

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