Seriously. Don’t Take Christmas So Seriously.

santa hatWow. This year was weird. We didn’t buy a thing online and instead went into the stores and made our purchases! I think it was good for me to go out and see the people. Watching people is one of the primary ways we writers find things to write about. Thanks for all of the good material, by the way!

Last week as I wandered through the stores, I noticed an overwhelming seriousness on everyone’s faces. Everywhere I looked, people were intently scouring the shelves for the items on their lists. Very rarely did I see a smile even as they passed me by.

After experiencing about as much seriousness that I could stand, I tried an experiment. I decided to go through the grocery store with a smile on my face the entire time. Do you know how hard it is to smile that long?  Anyway, the results were interesting. As I wandered up and down the aisles smiling, people literally stopped and watched.  When they realized that I noticed them watching, they would give me a half smile and look away quickly. As I was leaving the store, a lady getting a cart to go into the store stopped and watched me.  I was actually able to make eye-contact with her and she shouted across the lobby of the store to me—a complete stranger—“Merry Christmas!” I was blown away by how just a simple smile could attract so much attention.

In Matthew 5:13, the Bible talks about believers being salt and light to this earth. It goes on to ask the question, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will it be seasoned?  I was reminded of that verse this week. Christmas is a time for us to celebrate our King!  It is a time to tell the world about Jesus! It’s an open door to talk about what our Savior has done for us in our lives. We need to season the world with true reason for the season! If we lose our joy, or our saltiness, during the most important season of our Christian walk, we are simply no different than those with no hope.

The world needs those of us who are believers to be the salt just as the scripture calls us to be.  We need to smile and remember why we celebrate!  By our smiles on our faces, the world will wonder what is different as we truly are salt to a serious and lost world. A little salt’s effect in a dark and too serious world is amazing.

If you have salt on your food, you know it. Some spices blend and make an overall nice change to the taste, but not salt.  Salt makes a statement. If we are truly salty, our presence will be felt. Try not to take the secular constraints of the season so seriously and allow them to rob you of your saltiness. Rather, take time to rejoice and focus on The One that brings a smile to your face!  Be prepared as when you do, others will take notice, recognize your saltiness and will want to know more about why you smile.

Just simply be the salt.

Have a blessed and joyful Christmas!

Matthew 5:13 (NKJV) “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?

Tell The World About Jesus…No More Excuses!

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We were heading to our usual Saturday morning breakfast when we drove by a sign that read, “Christmas (It said, “XMAS,” but I prefer not to spell it that way) Parade Cancelled Today.”  I quickly responded to the sign and said, “That’s exactly why I don’t build floats!  You just never know when your parade is going to be cancelled!”  It was funny at the time and we laughed as we headed onto our exit towards the restaurant.

Some of us actually live our lives that way.  Let me explain. I was in Wal-Mart last Saturday after we had just had a lot of snow the day before.  I was by myself doing some Christmas shopping.  Being alone, I was more aware of others’ conversations because I had no one that I was conversing with myself to distract me.  I saw families shopping together having a lot of fun running up and down the aisles and holding up items from across the department seeking approval from one or the other.  I saw mothers with their grown sons, helping them pick out clothes for a girlfriend or wife.  I heard one little boy let out a growl as his father announced at the entrance of the toy department that they were NOT shopping for him that day!  Sometimes, even if I buy nothing, the shopping experience is worth the trip!

The most intriguing comments were what I heard in line, though.  There were probably three different conversations mentioning that they were not going to do something on Sunday because they were expecting more snow like what we had fall on Friday.  They were cancelling events for weather that had not even come yet!  At least the parade had a rainy day as an excuse to cancel.

As I have mulled this over now for about a week, it hit home when I saw the parade being cancelled.  Many of us live our lives and make our decisions on what we think might happen instead of what is reality.  If I were a float-maker and thought that my parade might be cancelled someday because of rain, I would probably never make another float.  If I decided on Saturday night that since it might snow on Sunday, I should stay home, I might never go to church on half of the winter Sundays.

We often use weather and other possible situations to keep us from doing what we know we should or from doing what we were created to do.  I’m convinced; it’s just part of the human condition.  Admit it…we all love a snow day that excuses us from responsibility and allows us a pajama day if we’d prefer.

However, at this Christmas season, I don’t think there should be any excuse to keep us from inviting others to church or talking about our relationship with Jesus Christ.  This is His time to shine.  Just like the saying goes, Jesus is the REASON for the SEASON.  As Christians, we have the perfect opportunity to share Him with those who don’t have Him in their lives.  Most everybody is open to talking about Christmas!  So what if it rains? Tell someone about Jesus!  If you get snowed in, go ahead…tell someone about Jesus.  If your parade gets cancelled…no worries…tell someone about Jesus!

What is God telling you to do that you’re making up excuses not to do it?  Well God, I’ll do that tomorrow.  I’m kind of busy today.  God, they will think I’m weird if I ask them to come to church.  I don’t think they’ll still be my friend if I tell them about Jesus.  I’m too tired.  My car won’t start.  I have too many other responsibilities…the list is endless. I’m sure you might even have a few to add to my list.  We all have them, do we not?

If we live our lives in the what ifs mode and worry about things that never happen, we will never be able to complete the work God has created us to do.  My prayer is that we will each take time today to seek God’s voice in our lives.  Then when we think we know what He wants from us, I pray that we will push forward no matter what the forecast in our minds might tell us.  A life lived with no regret is a full life.  Just say “NO” to anymore excuses!

Don’t miss out on the season.  You’ve got ten more days…what are you going to do?

Mark 16:15  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

I think this song says it well…click here and see.

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