By Jay Risner, Lead Pastor
It’s mid-November. This is the blog where I ask you to ponder Thanksgiving. Where I tell you to consider enlarging your heart of gratitude. Where I get you to really pay attention to the stuff that matters in life.
But since Hobby Lobby has been selling Christmas trees since July, and I have a neighbor who has already put up his Christmas lights (or perhaps he never took them down…) I’m going to skip Thanksgiving and get right to Christmas. Seems everyone else has.
Retailers and marketers convince us to prepare for Christmas earlier and earlier each year. What was once Black Friday—“the busiest shopping day of the year”—has turned into Black Thursday Night, with retailers now opening for business as early as noon on Thanksgiving. My extended family used to exchange names for Christmas on Thanksgiving Day, during the Cowboys game. Now I think we do it before Labor Day.
With all of this we’ve given ourselves more stuff to buy and more time to buy it. We’ve got more time to get ready for family, more options for decorating, and more recipes to experiment with. If Thanksgiving is this great exercise in being grateful for what we have, Christmas is an exercise in giving into the lust for what we don’t.
So in the middle of November realize you are sowing now what you will reap in late December. Will the Christmas plans your making be self-centered or others centered? Will your purchases be appropriately generous or irresponsible? Will you enjoy food for what it is or will you lose all self-control. The decisions you are making in November will impact the celebration you enjoy in December.
During the Advent season our Sunday morning services at Faith Bible will revolve around four words that should adorn our celebration of Christmas—HOPE, PEACE, LIGHT, and JOY. As you decorate your home…we want you to decorate your heart with these beautiful truths of Christmas.
Because when all the packages are open. When all the anticipation of Christmas gives way to the gray of Winter, and all you’re left with is indigestion, trash bags filled with wrapping paper, and a really large credit card statement. Then what??? If there’s not a deep an abiding connection to the hope, peace, and light that Jesus has decorated our lives with then your heart will be crying “woe is me” instead of “joy to the world”!