Christmas Eve is Coming
(I know, white is the correct "liturgical" color for Christmas Eve, and purple is for Advent, but red and green just seem more "Christmasy" if you know what I mean). Anyway, our church is deep in our preparation for the holiday. We decorated, we made candy and noodles, we had a bake sale, our kids have diligently practiced for their play, our choir has almost-as-dilligently practiced for our cantata, we've lit Advent candles, we've read from Malachi, Isaiah, Zechariah, and Jeremiah, and we've gone Christmas caroling.
What could possibly be left to do?
Perhaps we could prepare the way for Christ's return. Perhaps we could figure out what that means. We have an incredibly friendly church family, but do we have structures in place that don't "make straight the curves" but maybe even make them even more curvy? Do our interactions with "the world" show who Christ is, or do they show more of our ideas and biases?
Should we expect the world to conform to our standards? Is that it? We then can boycott companies who never calll themselves "Christian" when they do something tht isn't quite Christian... (and we'll only drink milk from a Christian cow). Yet there are plenty of "Christian" endeavors that fail to be Christ-like in their actions, and we fail to hold them accountable. There are plenty of Christians who have reduced faith to an hour a week, yet nobody holds them accountable. There are Christians who deny the major tenets of the faith - in public - yet they are allowed to go unchecked. There are others who talk a good game, but they don't care who they trample on their way to the "top" (whatever "top" they are gunning for). Still others talk a lot about evangelism, yet they don't know even one non-Christian well enough to initiate a spiritual conversation, let alone lead them to Christ.
How about this: how about we conform to our standards? How about we submit to each other for accountability and encouragement in our Christian walks? We invite someone into our lives instead of putting up the front.
Can this be our Christmas gift to Jesus?