Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | December 19, 2014

December 19, 2014 “Sweet, But Senseless”

“Look! Striding across the mountains—a messenger bringing the latest good news: peace! A holiday, Judah! Celebrate! Worship and recommit to God!”( Nahum 1:15)

Good Morning Dear Friends!

I enjoy listening to music in the morning, and throughout the day. It’s not at all unusual to find me listening and singing along with some of my favorite songs. These days, that means I listen to a lot of Christmas music. One of the oft’ heard songs is “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”. Those words were never truer than they are this time of year. In fact, next week is the big day. Colored lights, music, copious parties, heavy traffic, busy stores, concerts, and special church services abound. This is as it should be. Christmas is a time to celebrate. It’s a holiday…a sacred interlude. Celebrations of sacred events are not new. They have been observed for thousands of years. In fact, the prophet Nahum references such a celebration in his prophesy. There is a message of peace being proclaimed. That’s always good news to a war-weary world. He calls for a holiday…a celebration to burst forth. What does it look like? It looks like a time of worship and of recommitment to God.

In the classic Christmas film “Holiday Inn”, the main character, Jim Hardy, decided to convert a less -than-successful farm into a show venue open only during the holidays. As there is no lack of holiday celebrations interspersed throughout any given year, he has plenty of opportunities to mark the occasions with music and dance, food and fellowship. Holidays are great, and rightly include the aforementioned characteristics of festiveness, but not become mere excuses for revelry. In doing so, they may be described in a fashion uttered by one of the film’s main characters about the inn’s owner:

” You sound sweet, but you don’t make sense.”

Though she was speaking of a person, this observation could also be applicable to the way many people view and celebrate this sacred season of the year. For many, Christmas sounds sweet, with “candy canes and silver lanes aglow”, but when devoid of worship and recommitment to God, it doesn’t make any sense. It becomes just another excuse, as Ebenezer Scrooge scowled, “for picking a man’s pocket every December the twenty-fifth.” Celebrate! Make merry! Enjoy the fun and fellowship of the season. But don’t ignore the most important focus…worship and recommitment of the One whose birth brings those glad tidings of “peace on earth.”  Let’s pray!

In our hearts, O Lord, we celebrate! In our lives, O Lord, we rejoice! All our days, O Lord, we glorify You and praise You for the great gift of Your Own Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ! Thank You, Father, for that unspeakable gift of peace. Amen!

 

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