Mark Affleck

Moving Christmas Beyond Comfort To CHRIST

December 16, 2020
Spiritual Growth

This just in from our global online tribe: “There are so many things to do in the Christmas season that I am wound up like the toy I just bought my son. HOW CAN I FIND THE COMFORT IN CHRISTMAS?”
Let’s start with the FOUNDATION of Christmas before we get to COMFORT.
Christmas is about the birth of Christ. The arrival of the prophesied Messiah. The Lord in human flesh. But if the arrival of Jesus is the only basis for this holiday, we will be living the world’s Christmas.
Yes, Jesus most certainly came to be with us. But what the world leaves out is that he came to SAVE US for eternity. To let us experience joy while we’re on earth. To give us the gift of living with purpose beyond what the world puts on display at Christmas.
God uses Christmas to put a spotlight on that joy and purpose in us for others to see and come to Christ themselves through our example.
As to “finding comfort in Christmas,”  we need to SWITCH GEARS.
Christmas is not the END of our discomfort.
Christmas is the ORIGIN of our joy.
It is the pipe that delivers our connection to the Lord of Heaven and earth so we can depend on him, serve him, and glorify him for all to see.
My Christmas memories–from being a rambunctious child playing James Bond and leading my mates around the walnut orchards in Northern California to today along the sun-drenched Southern California coast—are fused into a singular and seamless vignette of comfort. The sights and sounds and smells. The gifts and gatherings and gingerbread houses. The candles and carolers and cookies.
Of course Christmas provides COMFORT! And we should cherish-and-relish the COMFORT in Christmas. The only caveat is that it must be subordinate to elevating CHRIST. We are presenting an incomplete and misleading front if we focus on our personal salvation and comfort ahead of GLORIFYING CHRIST—the child and essence of Christmas.
Now, to the question’s “WOUND UP” reference. Take a look at what David and his crew think about that:
“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:10-11
I ask God to keep me grounded in him this month. That I may enjoy the comfort he makes possible at Christmas, but never ahead of HIM and his sovereignty.
Have you moved your thoughts this Christmas beyond COMFORT to CHRIST?
“Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

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