Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | December 30, 2015

December 30, 2015 “The Christmas Spirit”

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation”. (Colossians 1: 15)

Good Morning My Friends!

Well, lights aren’t shining as brightly on homes around the area these days. Decorations are being taken down and stored in the garage for another year. The malls aren’t quite so crowded as they were these past few weeks. Even church attendance was down this past Sunday. Another Christmas is past, and along with it, much of that annual “Christmas Spirit” that so many movies, songs, and television programs touted. One of those annual Christmas movies that directly addresses the thought of diminishing “Christmas Spirit” is “Elf”, the story of a human child who is transported in Santa’s sack to the North Pole by accident and raised by Elves. In the story, Santa is facing a great dilemma on Christmas Eve. His sled won’t fly because of a lack of “Christmas Spirit”, the “magic ingredient” that enables the sled to fly. With the help of Buddy, (who has moved away from the North Pole in search of his human father), and a young woman he meets, the “Christmas Spirit” is restored to the citizens of New York City, and Santa’s sleigh is once again able to soar.

This is but one of those ubiquitous films that talks about the “true meaning of Christmas” or the “Christmas Spirit” that one would hope would last all year long. As “grinchy” as it may sound, I am not in complete agreement with this sentiment. I am much more inclined to stand in agreement with Christian author Stuart Briscoe, who made this astute and insightful observation regarding the whole issue of the “Christmas Spirit”. He wrote,

“The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world.”  

I think Briscoe absolutely nails it here. There is a significant difference between “The Christmas Spirit” and the “Spirit of Christ.” The most significant differences are delineated plainly by Briscoe- “Christmas Spirit” is an annual thing…the “Spirit of Christ” is everlasting. “Christmas Spirit” is sentimental. It may give Santa’s sleigh the power of flight for a night, but the “Spirit of Christ” is supernatural, enabling body, soul and spirit to soar. The “Christmas Spirit” is a human product, touted as something  which we should seek to emulate in our lives…the “Spirit of Christ” is God Incarnate, Christ dwelling within us. My desire for the New Year is not that I keep the “Christmas Spirit” alive in my heart, but that the “Spirit of Christ” might dwell in me in all fullness each day of my life, for “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation“.  Let’s pray!

Spirit of the Living God; Fall afresh on me. Fill me with the Spirit of Christ, that I may know more of You each day that I live. I pray this in Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen!

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