Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bah Humbug Revisited

The day after I wrote my last post about not "feeling" the Christmas spirit, something cool happened. I love it when God does stuff like this. Below is the short version.

A friend of mine from High School called me. He has been back in town for a few months and is homeless. I have been staying in touch and helping him as I can. He called to tell me that his bus pass had expired and he needed money to replace it immediately. You see, when you are homeless, you typically have no transportation either, so you have to depend on public transportation to get you to doctor's appointments, shelters, job interviews, etc.

As soon as I finished my breakfast with my family, I went to meet my friend. We drove to the bus station, got a pass, went on another errand, and just hung out for a while. When I left him I had an epiphany of sorts ("like a bolt of lightning struck me right in me brain" from the movie "Hook").

God very vividly helped me remember that Christmas is not about me, it is about others. When I quit thinking about myself and my feelings and began focusing on others and their feelings and needs, I got it. The Christmas spirit came rushing in. I have to say that, in spite of some very bad news I got that day too, I had one of the best days I have ever had. Not that anything really special happened the rest of the day or that I got to do anything amazing. I just knew that I had done what I was placed on this planet to do. I got to serve someone else and that made all the difference.

So What?

If you are looking for a "feeling" or trying to manufacture the Christmas spirit in your life, go serve someone. You will experience God's presence, power, and love like never before. Christmas is all about God serving us by sending Jesus to us. It only makes sense that we should serve others by taking Jesus to them. The shepherds got that. Check it out in Luke 2:8-20. They couldn't keep what they found to themselves.

Another thing to keep in mind. This serving others deal is not just a seasonal event. Make it a lifestyle. Then you and I won't have to worry about not "feeling" the Christmas spirit.

BTW...I'll be talking about the Shepherds and their Search this Sunday at Midtowne.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bah Humbug?

I'm really trying. Seriously. I am working hard at it but it just isn't happening yet. I know it will eventually but it's just not there right now.

I'm talking about the Christmas Spirit. I'm not feeling it yet.

I truly love Christmas. I love the lights, the music, the decorations, gifts, crowds (yes really), the food...I love it all. I enjoy the parties, the planning, the rushing around. It's a blast. But for some reason I just don't feel it yet this year.

Some would say it's still early and there is time. True. But I want it now. I'm ready now.

Here's the strange thing. I'm not sure why I'm not feeling it yet. I've already been to a party. I've received some gifts already. Our house looks like a Christmas catalog thinks to my amazing wife. The building at our church is decorated and I'm doing Christmas messages. But I'm still not there.

So What?

The Spirit of Christmas is not a feeling, it's a lifestyle.

Maybe I'm searching in the wrong place or even searching for the wrong thing. Maybe I should not be so concerned about a season of feeling but should be more concerned about an daily way of life that allows me to enjoy my relationship with God all the time. Maybe God is trying to tell me that I need to not be so concerned about feeling something awesome during the holiday season and start searching for an experience with Him daily.

After all, isn't that why He was born in the first place?