Friday, December 14, 2018

Who Can Add Anything to Christmas?

Listening to Christmas music gracing the airwaves, driving around to see thousands of twinkling lights strung throughout the city, and community events of all sorts fill the spaces in my December datebook.  

In the entire month there are but three squares that aren't filled in completely on my calendar ... but this year it was on purpose!  After all, shouldn't we do all that we can to make the world a happier place for everyone?

Isn't this what Christmas is about - keeping volunteers busy while spreading good cheer, being kind to others and giving gifts to people we probably never think of the rest of the year? Oh yeah, and if I could add anything else to the holiday, wishing peace would fall on the entire earth covering it like a blanket of fresh virgin snow!

Here We Go A Caroling

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to sing Christmas carols throughout the community.  Actually, caroling is something I've done with hubby since we were teens and before we dated officially.

Whether it is walking, riding in a church bus or bundled up on a hay wagon, I love belting out the joy of Jesus with family and friends.  Snuggling up to my sweetie is an added bonus.

I have a ton of stories about what fun it is to ride in a four wheel drive, 620 horse power, open tractor sleigh/wagon/trailer (not really but wouldn't that be cool?).  Granted it's not as exciting as dashing through the snow with a real horse in the lead, but it got the job done.  Plus the promise of piping hot chocolate and homemade cookies is definitely worth it!

Sing it Again Sam ...

Making our rounds to the nursing homes is always a treat, because we can minister to visiting family members as well as the residents.  A few years ago we were blessed to have been invited to join another church in their caroling schedule and I couldn't wait until the night came for us to go.

We were on our last stop when the pastor asked everyone to join him at a local nursing home facility.  It was so lovely and beautifully decorated.  Even the giant bird cage was decked out with boughs of something ... holly was nowhere to be found!

Gathering in the main room the residents were seated in a semi-circle so they could all watch as the group sang in unison mostly on key throughout the entire session.  Hubby and I were on the outside near a water fountain that cascaded down the lobby wall from ceiling to floor.  It had such a comforting soothing sound that it mesmerized everyone as we entered the building.

Toward the end of our visit the pastor decided that since things were going well we had time for a few favorites of the group.  After singing Silent Night and Joy to the World he asked for one more request from the carolers.  

Now I really haven't a clue as to what world my husband was in at that time, but I can assure you he wasn't thinking about peace on earth good will toward men.

Suddenly something clicked in his brain telling him to rejoin the rest of us.  Turning around from the trickling wall he called out with confidence, "Joy to the World!"

For a second we all stood in silence, but it didn't take long before the gang burst into laughter.   Looking straight in hubby's eyes I said, "We just sang that ... where were you?"  His great comeback - "Oh, we did?"

No, we didn't sing the carol again and that pretty much put an end to asking for requests.  Even though it was funny, I'm not sure we added anything to their Christmas that year. 

Although our motives may have been in the right place, our focus on who we were singing about got blurred a bit.  True, it was memorable, but for the wrong reason.  It's no wonder we haven't been asked to go caroling with them since.   

A Motive for Christmas

If you thought about it, what do you think you could add to Christmas to make it better, besides caroling (obviously we've got that covered)?  

In reality, who can add anything to Christmas anyway?  No one, because God has said and done everything we need to know in and through His Word.

Corrie Ten Boom once wrote that the perfect motive for Christmas was because God loved the world so much that He gave us His only Son, quoting from John 3:16.  

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should (will) not perish but have everlasting life (in Heaven).” (John 3:16 NKJV)

She continued stating that there isn't any other perfect gift except Jesus Himself, and that the only requirement for receiving this gift is to believe in Him (referring to salvation).  This is the same message all who come to Christ once heard before accepting the truth about Christianity.

Once we believe what scriptures say about the Son of God, our reward of faith in Jesus will be everlasting life in Heaven with our Savior.  She was right.  That almost sums up the entirety of Christmas don't you think?

However, when I think about why we celebrate the true Christmas, it's important that the message of Jesus "from the manger to the cross" be shared right at this given moment.  People are in the spirit of giving and receiving more readily, so it's a perfect time of year for ministering at all levels and to all ages.

A Season of Hope

Although this is generally called the season of joy, for some people this could be the last Christmas they will ever experience.  Joy might be far from their thinking about now and they're looking for something greater. 

"For such a time as this" as spoken in Esther 4:14 was a Season of Hope for deliverance from all the issues of life.  Beloved in Christ, it's thousands of years later and people are still looking for that blessed hope today!  

It's not the time to be silent.  We need to take advantage of every favored opportunity sent by God for proclaiming good tidings of great joy like the messenger angel Gabriel did when he proclaimed, 

 "... I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
 For there is born to you this day in the  city of David a Savior,
 who is Christ the Lord."  (Luke 2:10-11 NKJV)

With so many activities going on all around us, it's not hard to find ways to share our faith in the reason for the season - Christ Jesus, and how we found God's favor through His amazing saving grace!

Attending public gatherings while toting tracts, nativity story coloring pages, spiritual gifts and candy canes allows us to distribute the gospel to those passing by or strolling around the town square.  Tidings of great joy is what others should be witnessing in us, especially at Christmas.

Our Christmas Challenge:
Bring Tidings of Great Joy

We cannot add anything to what God has already done through grace, mercy and favor, but we can bring comfort, peace and good will to all men just as the original "messenger" did.

This year I want to prayerfully challenge you to make it part of your Christmas event schedule to continue bringing good tidings of great JOY (Jesus Our Yeshua - the only Deliverer) to all people.

Good Tidings of Great Joy by Kevin Williamson

Until next time, favor sharing tidings of great joy.

God favored the world with tidings of great joy, so should you.
- Jesus Christ

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Who Can Add to Christmas?

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