Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas: Worship Fully

The sermon from this past weekend hit me pretty good. The teaching presented a call to consider how we will spend the next 40 days, until Christmas. It seems like it just comes and goes so fast every year. For me, I realized that I've been so PROUD in how we don't go overboard with gift-buying every year. (I have been like the Pharisee in Luke 18, thanking God "that I am not a sinner like everyone else." Ouch.) But God showed me that along with saying "no" to overabundance, I need to say "yes" to being diligent and intentional with my time with Him and with family. This is how I'm going to be different this year at this season.

Here is an article from a staff member at The Village Church. It is great reading for parents, not giving commands or mandates, but only things to consider. For example:
  • "Have we become caught up in a cultural swarm that has separated us from our convictions and our better judgment?"
  • "[As a child who received lots of gifts,] what did I learn about Christ on Christmas? Is it possible that my struggle with materialism as an adult was fed there when I was a child?"
  • "As the parent, you may need to have difficult conversations with [family members who buy excessively for your children]. . . Make it clear to your family that you are trying to teach your child, not punish them."
  • "There are ways to allow your children to experience the excitement of the Santa tradition without lying to them. It is important for your children to know that they can trust you -- that you are honest with them."
  • "Are you going into debt to celebrate the birth of Christ?"
What are you going to do different about Christmas this year?

-- Joey Espinosa

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