My friend, may I ask you a question? “It was a good Christmas!” we say. But, what we are really saying is, “I did it! Christmas came off just as I planned; a real monument to the Christmas spirit.” Is that a personal monument to Christmas that’s really out of place?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
Christmas is a time to decorate with an abandon unmatched at any other time of the year. A time of excess, we exceed budgets, diets and bedtimes and spend countless hours preparing, consuming, building, tearing down and recuperating. Christmas in many ways is a monument to our ability to endure, excel, and outdo. We compete with our neighbor for the brightest displays; put just that extra touch of ourselves into our cookie recipes and actually use a lint brush on that sweater prior to going to church. Christmas is a time of focusing on us. When you think about it, memories of the holidays are mostly reflections of what we did, with whom we did it, and how successful we were at doing it. We sit back following the busy days leading up to Christmas and sigh with contentment.
“It was a good Christmas!” we say. But, what we are really saying is, “I did it! Christmas came off just as I planned; a real monument to the Christmas spirit.” That’s a personal monument to Christmas that really has no place.
Here's a story: Recently some remarkable graffiti was found on the walls of the Washington Monument. It was graffiti quite different from what we're accustomed to finding on subway walls or street benches. The graffiti read, "Whoever is the human instrument under God in the conversion of one soul, erects a monument to his own memory more lofty and enduring than this!" It seems the graffiti artist, whose signature was simply B.F.B., had put the question of what really was a monument worth real praise into perspective; even one as enduring and respected as this.
Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby to initiate a monumental process of salvation through grace. He left no monuments behind him except the marks of the nails in His hands. There are no plaques bearing His picture, footprints in the pavement, or even artifacts left behind after one of his many miracles. Jesus Christ didn't come to build a monument to Him or even to the work the He was about to do. Rather, another great "reason for the season" is that Jesus Christ came to "seek and to save what was lost!" He came into a world so full of sin and despair that an ordinary man would have sim- ply given up. But Jesus was on a mission; one sinner at a time, one heart, one soul, one mind. Jesus built monuments of faith everywhere He went and left behind a church, the greatest monument and testimony to faith every built.
Christmas is more than a celebration of what we can accomplish with wrapping paper, wheat flour, and strings of electric icicle lights. Christmas is a time of accomplishing the building of monuments, monuments of faith built on belief that it only takes one word, one act of kindness, one gentle touch to bring the story of Jesus Christ into hearts that are hurting. The star of Christmas is a beacon beckoning us to do the work that Christ has called each one of us to do.
We pray. Dear Lord, don’t let us miss you this Christmas season. Christmas is about you, and not about us. Help us to simplify our activities and traditions so we can focus our celebration on your birth and not make monuments to our ability just to make it through the season. Thank you for being the Prince of Peace, and we ask you for that supernatural peace to reign in our hearts. Thank you for the simple but life-changing message of your love for us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<email@example.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.