Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Seeking Jesus Not the Magic of Christmas

I must confess.  This time of year I am often guilty of seeking the magic of Christmas.  I love Christmas-the music, the decorations, the get togethers, giving gifts, and even the sappy Christmas movies that make you both laugh and cry and everyone lives happily ever after.   Even here in Central Asia, I have a tree and a few decorations to help us get into the Christmas spirit.   After a long day, it is nice to come home to our refuge and enjoy some hot chocolate while watching the lights on our tree.  I like how this time of year in many parts of the world people are a bit kinder and more generous.   They are more inclined to help those in need.  Many would say that this is the magic of Christmas.  With all the lights and magic, it is easy to forget that what we truly need is Jesus and the hope he brings.  


(picture found here)

I live in a land that reminds me at times of the biblical places described in the bible.   The people are tough and have seen too much violence in their time.  Many are struggling to survive.  There are no Christmas lights, no trees, no signs of Christmas.  In many ways, some see no hope in the future.  They just only hope they and their family can survive.   It is not a safe land.  It is a land that needs Jesus.  Christmas lights will not change this place.  Celebrating Christmas will not change this place.  The magic of Christmas will not change this place.  Only the hope of a Savior and accepting that hope will change this place.  


Tragedy hit our community less then two weeks ago through the violent deaths of three people we knew.  They were a light in this dark place.  They were not afraid.   Each of them had counted the cost and said "Yes, it is worth it."   They died as Advent started.  Advent teaches us to seek and wait.  It fixes our eyes on Jesus in the good times and the bad.  Advent brings hope that God is in control and sovereign even in the hard places.  No magic can change our hurting hearts or this hurting land.  Only the power of God will bring healing into my heart, your heart and those who I pray for in this place.  So as Christmas nears, I pray for Jesus to be known.  I pray for my family and I to be a light in this place.  Mostly I pray that I will never take for granted the hope that God brought to us on that cold, winter day.  


I am not saying the lights are bad or you should only listen to Christmas songs that are biblical.  For me, I want to enjoy this season of time with friends and family but not be so easily distracted from seeking the true meaning of Christmas.   The candles, the lights, and the fun music will still all be there but hopefully in my heart there will be a hope for Jesus not the magic.  


Dear God, Thank you for sending your son into this world.  You gave all for your children.  Forgive me for being so distracted by all the craziness and glitz of the world.  Forgive me for forgetting what is really important.  May I seek you this season.  May I clearly see salvation come to this land and spread all over the world.  May we give back our hearts to you this Christmas.  In Jesus name, Amen


No comments: