Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas in Love

It's that time of year,
When the world falls in love,
Ev'ry song you hear seems to say:
"Merry Christmas,
May your New Year dreams come true...."

—The Christmas Waltz (emphasis mine)

When are folks most likely to hear about Jesus? Well, today's church would probably suggest either at Christmas or Easter, when the "Christmas/Easter visitor" is most likely to attend a church service. And the church goes all out to make those visitors welcome, with special programs and services built around the Scriptures but with elements to appeal to a non-church attendee.

The goal? To introduce someone to Christ with the real goal that he or she "falls in love" with Him.

Surely, those who know Jesus would like nothing more than for all the world to know and proclaim Him as their Lord and Savior. But, if you've ever fallen in love before, you know that it involves falling, and not everyone is prepared to do that for everybody, and certainly not for Jesus.


Most of the definitions for the word fall involve the idea of coming down, dropping, going lower. But, you say, falling in love usually leaves one feeling elated, up, reaching for the clouds. Again, I ask you...have you ever fallen in love?

Falling does involve coming down to reality at some point. You may find yourself having to lose your status (as in, no longer single); drop some things you used to do all the time (in deference to activities with your love); lose your preferences for certain ways of doing things (yes, I'm thinking of the toilet paper direction kinds of things here) in order to co-exist with your love. Not to mention expectations you have of other people.

God had expectations for His people, and we seem to consistently fail Him. It started in the Garden of Eden, continued with God's flooding of the Earth, and the travels and travails of the Israelites. To try and maintain a relationship, God established covenants with His people: "If you do this, I will do that."

I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

—Genesis 17:7 (to Abraham)

And to follow that up, God called Moses and gave Him the words of a covenant to be written down and kept—the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28).

So, what happened? God's people couldn't uphold the covenant, thus putting the relationship between God and His people in a very bad position. The love affair would seem to be over, except that God didn't make people to be mere objects on the Earth. Relationship is what He desired, and He had a plan to re-engage His people.

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."

—Luke 22:20

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

—Hebrews 9:15

...Which is why Jesus came near.

But let us realize that a covenant relationship continues to involve two sides. Jesus came near, and He is now at the right hand of God to be there for you. But where are you?

Do you see Him in this season, or are you just walking through?

Have you fallen in love or are you afraid He'll catch your eye?

Do you know Him, or do you just think you do?

Will you reach out to Him, or will He be something you take for granted...or ignore?

Do you know He loves you?

Crowded streets, busy feet hustle by Him.
Downtown shoppers, Christmas is nigh.
There He sits all alone on the sidewalk.
Hoping that you won't pass Him by.

Should you stop; Better not, much too busy.
You're in a hurry, my how time does fly.
in the distance the ringing of laughter
And in the midst of the laughter He cries:

—Pretty Paper (if Jesus were the one in the street)

Jesus doesn't want you to pass Him by.

* * *

Jesus—Not just the reason for the season,
but our eternal season of reason.

* * *

You can follow my Countdown to Advent-ure posts, from now through Christmas Day, at my Mothers Of Preschoolers Mentor Mom blog, In-between time.
(Click on the nativity picture above to visit.


Truth4thejourney said...

What a graet post today! I am so there with falling in love. He is showing me that its all about the love, too. I'm posting next Wed. on the different meanings of love.

Must be His theme this year!

Be blessed,

Edie said...

Great post Sue. We do need to remember this all year long too. Staying in love with my Savior. Thank you. :)

My ADHD Me said...

I really liked this post.
It made me think.
It was sad and beautiful at the same time.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hi Sue,
This post touched my heart SO much!
After reading here today, I"m thinking about my Grandmother who passed away several years ago. She was MADLY IN LOVE WITH HER JESUS, which planted seeds in me without my even realizing it. She spoke of Him with such passion yet at the time; God forgive me, I thought she was a fruit looP! Now I'm a fruit LOOP too, and I'm madly in love with my own Savior.
Your post today, sparked that old flame in my heart.
Thank you!

KelliGirl said...

I love this post! I'm enjoying reading the more serious side of your writing, too.

Falling in love with Jesus. What a thrill. But, you're right. Falling for Jesus involves action on our part. It's a personal choice.

In an effort to escape the "artificial" that surrounds Christmas (yet not become Scrooge) I have really taken time to embrace the one thing that is so real--Jesus.

Thanks for this breath of holiness!