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Steve

"Christmas Spirit" -- Quiet Time 1.4

2nd Corinthians 3:17-18 says "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

Keeping our lives open to God during Christmas is quite a task.  Christmas is an example of a time when there is a lot of action, a lot of distraction, and plenty of chaos.  For instance, this past Christmas a human was killed for standing in between a mob of consumers and their consumer purchases--that's the Christmas spirit!  Nothing like a little death to help us remember the most important birth.  (I could go on and on about the stupidity of the people and the fact that the above situation actually happened, but that's for another time)  

Back to the "Christmas Spirit."  I am amazed that with all the nativity sets, the caroling, and the focus on Jesus' birth it's more difficult to be completely open to God during Christmas than other times during the year.  

How often, during this season, do we spend in solitude with God reflecting on His eternal gift and seeking Him through prayer?  Most of us are focused on making sure we buy someone the gift(s) they've requested--God forbid we'd have to go out on a limb and get them something they weren't expecting.  We've all faced that terror of waiting for the look on someone's face when they are in the process of opening a gift we bought them....Yes, we gain personal satisfaction when the recipient of our "perfect gift to them" is visibly happy with our purchase...but.....is that inner pain we feel when they don't like the gift we bought?  Really, a slight sense of despair?  They didn't like our gift!?

Where is God in our struggle to find that perfect gift for someone?  

Seriously--Where is God in our struggle to find that perfect gift for someone?  

When I repeat this questions aloud to myself and genuinely ask it out loud, I experience a feeling of stupidity and guilt.  

What is Christmas without the Creation of the world?  What is Christmas without Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection?  It's completely meaningless.  There is no Christmas, no Christmas spirit, without our Creator or His son.  How can we be so selfish as to forget this in a time when it's everywhere (in lights, in plays, on the radio, everywhere!)  

It's sad to me, personally, that the times when I get most reflective about my Savior and Creator is when I see atheist posters or hear people saying "Holiday" instead of "Christmas."  

I think I've made my point.  What do we do now?

Action Plan:  

Focus on God, accept His free gift of eternal life through His son Jesus' sacrifice, and love God with all you have.  

I pray that I will do this during the entire year, year after year, for the remaining time I have left on this earth.  Focus and love God in the tough times, in the great times, and during the chaos of Christmas.  We can truly share the Christmas spirit with the Creator of the Christmas spirit, and everyone else.  Gifts are great, but let's remember the "Reason for the Season."
Rick

Season, seasoning, the spice of life!  

If we look at "the reason for the season" and consider season as a verb, how differently would we view Christmas?

God seasoned the world with His son, that all may discover the true spice of/for life.  The Christ that gives eternal life.  His work enables a relationship with God the Father.  His work enables us to transcend this temporal life into the eternal.  

The reason for the seasoning?!
Grant

(x-mas) is also a sucessful abbreviation by satan to get people to take the Christ out of the season! "Christmas was always too long of a word to write, man my fingers are tired!"
Steve

From our good friends over at Wikipedia:
"Xmas" and "X-mas" are common abbreviations of the word "Christmas".  The "-mas" part came from the Latin-derived Old English word for "mass".  The "X" in Xmas is from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of Χριστός, Christ in Greek.  
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Satan may have led people to believe that "x-mas" takes "Christ" out of the word "Christmas" but based upon the Greek word for Christ, "X" puts the "Christ" back in "Christmas."  

My pastor at the church I went to in high school discussed this in a sermon during the Christmas season, and I found it pretty interesting that it's truly difficult to remove "Christ" from "Christmas" (even in the abbreviated form).  Those who abbreviate with the intent to remove Christ, haven't been successful.

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If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. --C. S. Lewis