DayBreaks for 12/21/12 – The Shape of Christmas
From the DayBreaks archive, dated 12/21/2001:
I was in Costco recently and I was standing in the checkout line when I noticed two young boys (about 8 years old) who were standing in the next line. Behind them was a man who had a large stuffed tiger in his shopping basket. The boys were enthralled, and the joy on the man’s face of knowing how his child would love having the stuffed tiger was evident. For some little child, Christmas this year may come in the shape of that stuffed tiger.
In Lion and Lamb, Brennan Manning wrote: “Jesus does not dominate my life. Any tree in my path seems to have more power than he, if only because it forces me to walk around it…what would life be like if Christ did rule in me? If during Advent my primary concern were His Kingdom? …What shape would Advent and Christmas take, if Jesus really RULED in me?
“If He did, that is, if my faith were deep, burning, powerful and passionate, my life would be very different. My self-esteem would cease to be based upon the worldly values of possessions, prestige, status, and privilege, and upon the group solidarities of family, race, class, religion, and nation. For to make these my supreme values is to have nothing in common with Jesus. With burning faith I would speak of Jesus not as some distant being but as a close friend with whom I have a personal relationship. The invisible world would become more real than the visible, the world of what I see, Christ more real than myself.
“…It stands to reason that if during the Advent season we relegate Jesus and what He stands for to second place on our scale of values, then we have already denied Him and what He stands for. Either you accept the Kingdom of Jesus understood it or you don’t. You cannot serve two masters.”
Jesus came not only to save you, but to make you different. To transform your mind (Rom 12:2) – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
To the extent that Jesus rules in us, our lives will take the shape of His not just at Christmas, but all year long. What shape will your Christmas take this year?
PRAYER: We are prone to think of You more during this season, Lord, and to forget about you for much of the rest of the year. We invite you to shape our lives to fully conform to Yours! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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