" a Savior has been born to you"
I talked to a friend of mine today online. She's not someone I talk to very often ~ we went to school together a long time ago. But we try to keep in touch every once in awhile.
She shared that she'd gone to a Christmas party recently. And you know what she shared about that party? The one thing she shared. Saw some friends she hadn't seen in awhile? Received an amazing gift? Enjoyed the host's beautiful Christmas decorations? No. She really enjoyed the alcohol.
My jaw dropped. The drinking? For her, that was the highlight of a Christmas party? I mean, it would be sad if that were the highlight of any party, but for a Christmas party, it's shocking. I don't mean to imply that drinking is inherently wrong; Scripture certainly doesn't forbid it. And I'm sure for those that enjoy wine for instance, you are likely to enjoy certain kinds more than others. I can understand that.
But it occurred to me that maybe this particular Christmas party wasn't really about Christmas. I don't know any of the people who were at the party with her. But I had to wonder if they appreciate the upcoming holiday as a celebration of Jesus' birth, or just as a reason to party. And so, knowing very few details about the party, or the people, I'm not going to judge any of the people involved. I'm too busy tripping over my own failings to point to spend time pointing fingers at others. So I'm just going to take this as a lesson for me.
So this season, I am going to repeatedly ask myself the following questions:
What is my purpose for attending this party? Is it an opportunity to enjoy some gourmet food and fancy desserts? Or is it a chance to spend time with others who share my joy at Jesus deigning to be born a Man, that He might die for us?
Why am I spending time with my extended family? Is it because I'm "supposed" to? Or is it to be a blessing, and show appreciation to God for the number of people in my life who love me, and accept me with all my faults?
Why am I buying presents for people? Is it because I'm expecting to get presents from them, and I know I need to reciprocate? Or is it because I've been blessed with enough and more, and Christmas gives me an opportunity to share my blessings with others?
Why am I sending out Christmas cards? Is it because I'm afraid no one will send them to me next year if I don't send them out this year? Or is it because I want to tell friends, family, and neighbors that God has blessed me by putting them in my life. Or putting me in their lives! :)
I hope you are enjoying all the things that are unique to this time of year. And I hope you, too, are endeavoring to daily remember the true reason we are celebrating.
~ "The shepherds glorified and praised God
for all the things they had heard and seen" ~