Monday, November 22, 2010

How we are celebrating this year

Have you ever given something up for a cause?

How about gone for a month without, say, chocolate. Or TV.

We do these things sometimes so we can focus on what's important. Maybe we feel that we have too much of one thing in our life and it's distracting us or holding us back.

Maybe we feel we need to retrain our bodies and our minds to not have to have certain things all the time.

Does it mean that chocolate is a bad thing? Absolutely not. And the darker the chocolate the better:)

Does it mean that the people around us that are eating the chocolate are horrible people? Absolutely not.

This December 25th we as a family have decided to give up Christmas as we've known it.

Are we not celebrating Christmas all together? Absolutely not.

We love the family and friend gatherings, the lights, and of course the eggnog!

I feel as a parent it is my responsibility to train my children. MINE. And if I don't, the world is more than happy to do it for me.

The world says that my kids need more toys. They need to open 10 presents on Christmas morning. They need to know the happiness that comes from walking into the living room in their cute PJs anxious to tear into all their gifts.

Am I saying all of that is wrong? No.

I say they must know that the Bible says,

"He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?"
- Jeremiah 22:16

They must know that JOY comes when we are helping others.

And for the Word to really sink in deep I feel that we will need to give up Christmas for the Cause this year.

I know that history tells us that many of the things we practice at Christmas were pagan. I know that Jesus was not actually born on December 25th. It was not even in the winter time. The three wise men did not come to see Him the night of His birth.
And so we teach our children the truth.

I also know though that this is the one time of year that most of the world see's as a time of Jesus's birth. So I don't think we should ignore that. We instead should take the opportunity to be an example of God's love at a time when people are more open.

What did happen the night our savior was born was an angel appeared to the shepherds and said,

"I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people"

Then, a whole group of angels came and said,

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests"
"When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them"

THIS is what we want to do with our Christmas.

Spread the word about the saviors birth.

It was a celebration the day Jesus was born.

But how should we celebrate? By making Him a cake and singing happy birthday?

Or is there something bigger. Something more lasting then that.

Is it wrong to exchange gifts with the ones we love? No.

For me this year I feel we have enough. MORE than enough. We are blessed.

When almost half the people on earth are living on less than $2.00 a day


My children are BLESSED.

So now, am I going to judge everyone around me who is celebrating Christmas different than us? No. I promise.

Why even share this then?

I debated for months over sharing this. (ETA - I actually wrote this months ago and left it unpublished until now.)

Then I thought that maybe, maybe we can start something here.

Maybe we can challenge others to make our Saviors birth something far more than eggnog and presents. You may not need to go to the extreme that we are this year with no gift exchange, but maybe there is something you can add or change.

Maybe when December comes around our children will talk about the excitement and joy of feeding the poor or making a list of ways they can collect money for orphans, instead of a list of all the toys they want.

Maybe it's a long shot.

But we are giving it a try this year.

It's not what you believe that counts; it's what you believe enough to DO.

With some two billion Christians in the world, almost one-third of the population, changing the world by addressing poverty and injustice does not seem by any means beyond our grasp. - The Hole in our Gospel

I hope your holidays are filled with family, friends, and great memories. And most of all, that God will really shine through all that you do.

Lindy, Guy, Genesis, Jude & Zane



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