I haven’t wrapped a single Christmas present yet & a few years ago, I didn’t wrap any until 11pm on Christmas Eve – what was the point in that?!??? I don’t think I’m generally a procrastinator, it’s just tricky to remember & find time. Maybe this year, I’ll wrap our presents soon, maybe. One question worth a little consideration is what will you & I be giving Jesus this year, to celebrate His birthday. It seems kind of counterintuitive to give everyone but Jesus a present on Christmas, the day when we celebrate His birth
So going with the 5 Love Languages idea, here are some gift suggestions for Jesus:
affirmation – take some moments to sing one of your favorite praise / worship songs directly to Jesus or make a brief list of reasons why you love Jesus and tell Him
touch – consider giving someone a hug that would appreciate that; sometimes when we touch someone with genuine love it’s a nice way to communicate genuine love to Jesus (when you do this to the least of these, you’ve done it to Me – Matt 25:40)
gifts – think about giving a coat, hats, mittens, socks, etc to a homeless shelter or discretely helping a needy family in your church, maybe make an extra donation to a charity (Saving Moses is awesome – smile)
service – every church has extra services, usually, to support the Christmas season: consider volunteering a little extra to share some love
quality time – consider dropping by a park and taking a brief walk with Jesus or waking up maybe 10min earlier just to give Jesus your presence, which is possibly the ultimate present He desires
We do alot of our shopping at Walmart because it’s cheap, close and convenient. The quality, however, can sometimes be a little questionable. For example, when I buy socks for my boys, I’ve learned that if I buy them from Walmart, I’ll usually have to buy 2-3 times the number of socks (holes, rips, etc) as if I buy a higher quality & little costlier brand from a different store. Consumer grade socks for my boys from Walmart usually have a pretty short lifespan in the world of boy socks
Unfortuanately, I think we sometimes treat Christianity with the same level of function. We want cheap, close and convenient: Jesus in the manger, candle light service in less than an hour, the cross, tomb, July 4th and the next thing. With this kind of thinking, it’s not a surprise that someone could easily be disillusioned, misled and / disappointed with the consumer grade version of Christianity, if such a thing really exists.
So here are some thoughts to consider:
does your faith facilitate more function from or attachment with Jesus?
is your faith in Jesus based on consumption, sacrifice and / or transformation?
is Jesus an accessory or a necessity in your life?
maybe consumer grade Christianity is only a Satan contrived deception to the authentic, daily and life-changing relationship with Jesus that will most certainly include sacrifice, fertilizer and resurrection
When I was in high school, I played basketball & I TOTALLY loved getting to play!! I enjoyed everything about basketball but most of all, I loved playing in games. In contrast, I didn’t enjoy sitting on the bench nearly as much as playing – after all, we spent hours practicing so that we could be useful & add value in the games.
In a similar way, let’s give Jesus access to “play” & participate in our daily living, rather than benching Jesus & only letting Him play on Sunday’s or during appropriate religious events
Let’s also not keep Jesus as a spectator in our lives but rather an invited, welcomed & integrated into every prt of each day!
Sometimes life is stressful: bills, decisions, planning, obstacles, expectations, future, work, relationships, etc. I find that in my life, there’s kind of an ebb & flow to this stuff – seasons that have more stress & pressure in contrast with less stressful seasons. No matter if you’re totally stressed out & you feel like you want to jump ship or if you’re in a really chilled time, enjoying a less pressure season, God’s got it:
the wisdom to help you make decisions.
the resources to supply various needs in your life.
the peace to calm your anxious mind.
the solutions to various problems that you may be dealing with.
the relationship help that you need for various hot spots.
the healing for your broken heart &/or physcial body
God’s got it!! Your needs can never outstrip God’s provisions. Your problems can never exceed God’s answers. Your brokenness can never overwhelm God’s healing. God’s got it! So let’s continue to align our lives with Jesus’ words in Matt 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you!”
God’s got it!!
And don’t forget to check out what Saving Moses is doing in December – it’s A-Mazing!!
In Colorado where I live, recreational marijuana was legalized, so our state is now a hot spot for weed tourism (not sure that I think that the weed industry is something really good for our state, in the long run, but that’s a different blog). So if you’re thinking that because I live in Colorado & I’m saying that Jesus is a weed advocate, let’s be very, very clear that this is NOT what I’m saying.
Rather, I’m saying that when we look for Jesus in the weeds, metaphorically, of our daily living, we can most definitely find Jesus – even among the thistles, thorns & prickles. Sometimes we unknowingly cultivate weeds because of some yucky seeds we sow (impatience, unkindness, selfishness, etc). But sometimes, life comes up weeds
This prayer has really helped me to find Jesus in weedy days:
“Jesus, please fix this situation – make it all better & please help me to grow through this so I bear healthy & constructive fruit. Please help me not so sow weed seeds in this challenging place”
Coffee, tea, hot water, soda, . . . . . whatever floats your boat, in this holiday season, let’s be sure that we dial in some time and attention to hanging out with Jesus. Here are a few ideas for your consideration:
go through the drive through coffee place, collect your coffee / beverage and then pull into a parking space for a few minutes to enjoy some pause and fellowship with Jesus
go to a concert or Christmas production that you have nothing to do with for the simple purpose of being present with Jesus in this season
wake up 10-15min before everyone else to be still and quiet – giving Jesus your presence as a present
ask the Holy Spirit to help you to pay attention and increase your awareness of Jesus’ presence in your daily living
pray with someone, briefly and sincerely, who expresses a need
take a walk at night (in a safe neighborhood or park) and think about the shepherds in the field who received the angelic announcement about Jesus’ birth – what a SHOCKER!!!!!
be in church – there’s a good chance that someone there will be talking about Jesus during this month ,)
do something nice for someone who doesn’t have the ability to repay you
Coffee with Jesus: God’s divine gift to humanity is Jesus, love in skin #lookforJesus
When you microwave something, have you noticed that there are often hot spots on whatever you nuked? So to mitigate the hot spots after nuking, we stir up whatever was in the microwave to spread out the heat to the rest of the stuff. Like the microwave, life has hot spots. We can go through challenging times in our finances, marriage, job, school, relationships, etc: hot spots.
So rather than stirring all of that heat into the other areas of our lives, let’s settle in & look for Jesus in such hot spots, receiving His peace, stability & security. Jesus mitigates hot spots ,)