[Praise God! God is with us!]
What a wonderful day we get to celebrate! I just want to share a few thoughts and experiences I’ve had in this season:
- Yesterday I had the great privilege of serving with my grandfather, aunt, and a family friend at the Jimme Hale Mission. There were around 75 drivers delivering meals to individuals all around the Birmingham area who probably wouldn’t have any other visitors for Christmas. Before we were sent out, Rev. Tony Cooper, the Executive Director of the mission, gave us a good word. One of my favorite pieces of insight he shared was this: “Here at the Jimmie Hale Mission, we don’t care about being politically correct–we care about being biblically correct.” He went on to say that they use the “J word” and use it a lot. This hit close to my heart as I’ve been convicted lately of passing up opportunities to share the name of Jesus. I (and probably you, too!) have been granted favor in several areas but am guilty of way too many missed opportunities. Who cares about sounding like that crazy Christian? We should take that as a compliment! Live radically, my friends.
- What if everyone who posted a Facebook status or tweet or general complaint about “remembering the reason for the season” or “keeping Christ in Christmas” or about not saying Xmas (which really isn’t that bad–X=Greek Chi=first letter of Χριστός=Christ) or WHATEVER….what if they all (okay, okay we all) cared that much everyday? What if we stepped up for our faith daily? It’s come to the point where I almost feel like Christmas has become another thing we can argue about. That’s not cool. And I’m pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t find that great either. And it’s His birthday.
- As usual, I loved the Brookwood Christmas Eve service. One thing Dr. Barnette said that really stuck with me was that “God rewards the hunger in your heart more so than the knowledge in your heads.” Sure you might know a lot. Cool. But do you have a desire to learn more? A thirst to grow in the Lord? Wise men still seek Him.
- Also at Jimmy Hale, Rev. Cooper read from Philippians 2. Funny enough, I had been thinking about this passage on our way downtown. Meditate on these verses. Read over them and pray that you might live your life in the reflection of Christ’s humility.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.–Philippians 2:1-11
So, my friends, my Christmas wish for you and yours (and myself!) is that you would be radical. That you would be radiant. Let your light shine. Let’s make darkness run outta here.