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Time to Celebrate!

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

I Corinthians 10:31

I want to begin my note to you this month with a question:  How are you choosing to celebrate Christmas?  I use the verb “choosing” deliberately—first and foremost because choice involves intentionality.  Like so many aspects of life, you and I have the opportunity to determine how we will—or will not—commemorate and enjoy this special time of celebration.

You see, there are many positions regarding the remembrance of Christmas.  For some, it is a federal holiday filled with festive decorations, food, and visits with family.  In the retail world, this is a time to entice consumers to buy goodies and gifts in order to get out of the red and hopefully secure a year-end profit.  There are people who prefer to keep the day totally secular, and still others who question if this religious holiday should be celebrated at all.

As Christians, we typically don’t worry about whether or not we should enjoy this season that is set aside to honor Christ’s birth.  Instead, many of us wonder how much—or how little—we should celebrate.  For instance, is putting up a tree and going gung-ho with yard decorations too much?  Is being present at parties, attending plays or ballets, and even hosting gatherings of our own over the top?

The answer for you and me is very personal—as it should be. Each of us ought to seek God’s guidance about everything, including how we will celebrate His amazing gift sent centuries ago in the person of Jesus Christ.  In part that’s why I so appreciate the Apostle Paul’s dialogue found in I Corinthians 10.  After summing up a communique about struggles the believers in Corinth were having in their own culture, he reminds all of us that “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31, New Living Translation). 

Friend, this is the bottom line for many of the decisions we face in life.  Is what we are going to do pleasing to the Lord, or not?  Will our attitudes and actions actually bring glory to Him?  What a great metric to measure our choices by!

In Psalm 115, we find another way of looking at celebrating the Lord:  “The dead cannot sing praises to Jehovah here on earth, but we can! We praise him forever! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 115:17-18, The Living Bible).  The psalmist saw earthly existence as a chance to offer praise to the Lord.  Those who have passed on aren’t present to share with others what God has done, is doing, and will do in the future—but we can!

What better time to embrace this wonderful opportunity than now.  Christmas gives us the chance to sing His praises and rejoice in the real reason for this season.  And no matter how we choose to do our celebrating, may each of us remember “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness” (Psalm 115:1).

Merry Christmas to you and your family from all of us at Sonkist Ministries!

Thought of the Month

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

Luke 2:13-14