Since…the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”
I don’t know of a Christian parent that doesn’t want to instill in their child the true meaning of Christmas. In our day that task is getting more difficult simply because the culture in which we live refuses to help. The responsibility, therefore, lies squarely on the shoulders of mom, dad and the local church to see that the next generation understands the crystal clear meaning of “Christ-Mass”. This shouldn’t cause a shudder. It was our responsibility in the first place. It’s just that in times past we had the luxury of co-opting the message of Christmas to other venues like public schools and shopping malls. Those days are over and the responsibility we have is huge and growing…well…huger.
That’s why it’s important to ensure that our children enjoy the cultural aspects of our Christmas like lights, trees, and gift-giving. Such traditions foster incredibly fond memories and create pockets of joy that go with us through life.
Because the culture is the way it is – it can only take us so far into Christmas. In reality, our culture has left us in the dust and bids us blur the lines between the mythological (Saint You-Know-Who and his eight tiny you-know-whats) with the theological (God with us).
This is where a clear presentation and understanding of the Gospel is essential, and parent(s), guess who the preacher is of that Gospel message? You! Our children need to know that the birth of Christ is not the totality of the Christmas story. Baby Jesus – God in the flesh – is merely the continuation of a greater story that is being written. And this same Baby seeks a deeper relationship that goes well beyond the circumstances of his birth.
Imagine for a moment that the Christmas story was just about the birth of a baby named Jesus. If that were the reality then, of course, December 25th would be piled high with culture-driven and people-centered traditions.
Christmas, however, is not a singular event disconnected from the rest of the 364 days of the year. It is a continuation of God’s plan of redemption. There cannot be a redemption story without a Christmas story and there cannot be a Christmas story without a redemption story – period.
This is what will be on our minds this Sunday during the teaching time. I look forward to seeing you there.
It’s That Time of Year
Can you believe that 2014 is all but done? Me neither. Time has a way of rolling on, doesn’t it? No doubt many of you are considering ways in which you can express your generosity through year-end giving. May I encourage you to remember Arcade Church and the Summit Goal of $250,000 we have set for this year. The good news is the goal is within reach. Currently we only need $25,358 before we’re there. Think about this – if we all chip in, we can begin 2015 with a surplus. How cool would that be! But time is running out. If you would like to give toward the Summit Goal please go HERE and follow the prompt to designate “Summit Goal.” If you prefer, feel free to use one of the giving envelopes in the pew rack on Sunday – but please designate “Summit Goal”. Every dollar given gets us that much closer to Gospel-saturated projects. Blessings to you.
See You Sunday!