Should we celebrate Christmas? That’s typically the question around this time. I think we can lean into this more and actually determine how we can take Christmas back.
So here we are, in the year, last month, Christmas is coming up very soon. This year has been a crazy year, it’s been a wild ride. And Christmas is upon us. This is usually the time that people start, if you’re a believer, start asking, should we even celebrate this day? Should we be celebrating Christmas? Because there’s all these pagan aspects that are attached to this holiday? At least that’s the story, right? Should we be celebrating Christmas? Since we’re, I guess about a full month out? or close to it close to a less than a month? I figured that I was well, I’m going to try to answer that question. But I’m going to do you guys one better. I don’t want to just stop there. Because really, I don’t even think this is something that’s up for debate anymore. You know, should we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ? Absolutely. I don’t think that’s the issue, though. When people are asking about should we celebrate Christmas, I think the real issue is there’s an impetus that is behind the question. And the impetus behind that is how it really just comes from a place of how, like, how should we celebrate this day, it’s the way that the day has been typically celebrated. Just as a whole, whether you’re a believer or not, it drives that question of should we be celebrating this day because of all of these things that are attached to it? So I think it’s really about the how I think that’s really the driving factor behind this question. But like I said, since we have some time, I want to do my best to empower and challenge all of you to approach Christmas in a way that is truly Spirit led and not of this earth. That’s right, we’re gonna do something different because that’s what we do here. We do things differently, not for the sake of doing a different, but you know, cuz at times it’s necessary and this is one of those times where it’s necessary. But first, I want to say welcome. Welcome, welcome. Welcome to everyone that has made a conscious decision to check out this podcast if you have not checked out this podcast before. Welcome to UpNorth kingdom. This is a podcast for citizens of heaven that want to grow stronger in their faith and press towards the mark of Jesus Christ. And so if that happens to be you, do yourself a favor, make sure that you subscribe to the podcast. You can also pick up a free apologetics guide over at UpNorthkingdom.com That’s right. Yeah, I created a guide and it is completely free. Just go to upnorthkingdom.com and you should be able to easily make your way down the homepage and download the guide. You’re welcome. All right, yo. So this whole Christmas thing. One of the things I have been wanting to do better with in life is Christmas. This day has never really sat right with me. I’m just being honest with you guys. Just Just since I was a child at this day has never really sat right with me as a child. I was utterly confused by the whole Santa Claus and reindeer mythology. However, the spirit of it all had me in you know, like this trance like state if you have kids, if you’re listening to this and you have kids, they’re in a trance like state that they are. They’re just there. And I’m sure you could remember back in the day when that was you. And for me, I grew up at least I lived a large part of my childhood in upstate New York. And I experience the true White Christmas. I mean, this was, we’re talking 10 feet of snow blizzards. And you better walk your black behind to school, we don’t care how much snow it is, like true White Christmas. I remember at the end of November, that’s usually, actually no before that, it was usually at the towards the end of October going into the first or second week, at most of November and the snow would start and I just remember these massive flakes falling out the sky. And it was like yo it’s on. Yo it’s on. Christmas is gonna be here soon there’s a whole bunch of snow. I’m gonna be able to sled I’m gonna be able to, you know, go out and you know, snowboard, I’m gonna be able to just have snowball fights, like the whole thing was, it was surreal as a kid; now after that after Christmas, you can wrap it up because man, that snow sucked. It was horrible. Even as a kid like you get around January and you’re like, I’m over this. I am over this. I got to shovel snow again. You’re breaking your back, your hands are callused. It’s just, I mean it is a good way to make some extra money. However, I digress. I, I know what that whole experience is like, because, you know, I lived in a place where we had that typical White Christmas, and growing up inside of a home of parents that were professing Christians, well we attended church all the time. I was always there like, every Sunday I was in church. And when Christmas came around, it was like, Yeah, you’re gonna be in this Christmas play. And I’m like, Do what? And my mom was like, You gonna be this Christmas play. That was just, yeah, you really tell your mom like, Nah. I wasn’t that kid. My mom, she would put her foot down. And if that didn’t work, she’d use my dad’s foot. So either way, some feet got put down. And I just had to do whatever I was told. But I digress with that too. Point is I ended up in Christmas play. And, you know, you revisiting the story of Jesus, you know, Jesus in the manger. And this was just, you know, a part of my childhood. You know, like I said, White Christmas, and then going to church and in watching the plays being a part of the play. And Christmas was always this thing, that you know what Jesus sat at the center of it. But the thing that always got me was this whole other aspect of Christmas, where there’s Santa and Rudolph, and you know, frosty and all, like Santa never mentioned this cat. I remember thinking that when I was a kid. I was like, Santa never mentioned. Jesus. I couldn’t figure out the relationship between these two. Like, maybe they were like distant cousins. Did they just not know each other? Like, how does this work? Because I’m being told that it’s about Jesus in the manger, and then there’s the Santa thing. I’m gonna be real with you guys. Yeah, of course, there was this part of me was like, yeah, Santa is not real. I know that he’s not real. There isn’t some big dude just flying around in the sled. Just gonna just pop it down, especially in a Negro house just dropping off some presents. Like I knew that was not a reality. But I was like, maybe it represents something. But the thing is, I couldn’t really understand the relationship between the two. I didn’t know why the world was celebrating both of them. It just was crazy to me with all of the classic Christmas stories consisting of like I said, Rudolph and then you got the elves and the snowman and you got Grinch, there was just no mention of Jesus except one. Except That’s right. Charlie Brown’s Christmas.
Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about? Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about. in there, we’re in the same country Shepherd, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, angel of the Lord came upon them. The glory of the Lord so round about them. They were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, fear not. For behold, every new tidings of great joy, which will be to all people, or onto you was born this day in the city of David, a Savior, Jesus Christ, Lord, they should be a sign on to you.
Linus, like a boss explains what the day is about, the Savior Jesus Christ, who was born. That’s it. Charlie Brown’s Christmas. That right there. Yeah, that’s the truth. Charlie Brown’s, Christmas. But here’s the deal. When I was a kid, I was really concerned with just the things that I was going to get or the things that I was not going to get like, pretty much every kid on the planet. No, it doesn’t matter if you believe in Jesus or not. Yo, most kids, we trying to figure out what we getting. I remember when malls were hot. Malls. That’s right shopping malls and I remember those days where you would stand in line so you could sit on Santa’s lap, and you could give him your list of things, and just hope that those things showed up. But if I can be real with you guys, today, like as an adult, as a professing Christian, I have grown to really loathe and pretty much just hate what this day has become. You know, as a believer, we tend to blame the world on commercialism. Like it’s some kind of secular force that has all of us Christians under its power, and that’s what’s ruined Christianity. But to be fair, I don’t think commercialism is the problem. I don’t think it’s the problem. I think the problem really is us as believers. And that’s why we look out at the world and we see how Christmas is being interpreted and many of us have problems with it. And many of us asked the same question every single year. And it’s like every generation asks the same question. Like, should we be celebrating this day? What about this pagan stuff? There was some, there was some trees mentioned in the Old Testament and some decorations and stuff, right? That was pagan practice, like, this is like every generation, and now I have kids. And having kids really changes some things for you, it changes your perspective on this day. Right? If you have kids, you know exactly what I’m talking about. As a believer, you want to ensure that your kids know precisely what this day is about yet I find myself having to figure out how I can stay upright on this tightrope that the world has created. You know, on one hand, you want to make sure that your child knows about the virgin birth, the birth of Jesus Christ, you want them to know why Jesus Christ came, the Savior for the whole world. But you also want to provide gifts for them. But you don’t…you’re trying your best not to allow the gifts and the TV shows in the cartoons and the decorations and this spirit of Christmas, whatever this spirit, and there is a spirit. There is a spirit. I don’t know if I want to call it the spirit of Christmas. But there is definitely a spirit about this holiday. But you’re trying to keep it from out shining and outperforming and from obfuscating what the day is actually about. So you’re on this tightrope, and you’re just trying to keep yourself perfectly balanced as a parent. If you’re not a parent, maybe you’re in the same boat in terms of just just as a believer, you’re trying to keep yourself upright, and make sure that you’re looking at this day in a way that is properly balanced. But the reality is you’re locked in a war. That is not only absurd, but it’s not even necessary. Like why do we put ourselves through this at all, this day is supposed to be about Christ and Christ alone. Right?
One of the things I’ve been pressing myself on is rejecting the acceptance of tradition just for traditions sake, like regardless of how uncomfortable it is, this is just a state that I’ve been in for probably a year now. There’s things that are part of Christian tradition. And I find myself just just asking questions, you know, I’m not saying that I’m railing against Christianity, I’m not advocating that. I’m not saying it’s all bad. I’m not. I’m just saying, hey, there’s some things that we do. And I wonder if we can do some of these things better. I’m not of the the mindset that well, because the faith has been around for so long, everything that we do now is perfect. And let’s not ask questions or challenge anything. I know. I was stubborn as a child. And I’m pretty sure that that’s gonna be on my tombstone like this, this is dude here, he, he was stubborn through and through. That’s just the nature God gave me so I’m gonna ask questions. But I don’t want to be doing things just because that’s the way we’ve always done things. So here’s the deal. This is kind of the state of affairs, alright? Christianity has been in a downward spiral for a very long time in America. And it’s in a downward spiral in many European countries, too. So I don’t want to misinform or mislead anyone, because Christianity is actually growing in other parts of the world and the parts of the world that Christianity is growing in are parts where people are facing a lot of persecution. And at times, we kind of look at America, we think that’s reflective of the whole world, but it’s not we just have crazy tunnel vision. But Christianity is just… people are defecting from this faith, like nobody’s business. It’s just how it’s been for a few years now. And so you look at Christianity, you look at some of the other things that’s happening in this country, things that I’ve been talking about in this podcast for a while; abortion, and how we have no problem with just slaughtering children. And you look at marriage, and I’m not talking about even gay marriage. Yeah, that’s a thing. And so that’s an issue. But not even just that, but the fact that less people are getting married now than before, like, every year, there’s a decline in numbers in terms of how many people are getting married. And it’s not just from those that are not Christian. It’s not just from those outside of the church, it’s even within the church. Those within the church, us as believers, we’re really following the same decline percentage wise as those that are not in the faith. So marriage is something that’s just, you know, year after year, it’s really just kind of on a decline it’s, I don’t wanna say it’s going away, but I mean, that’s the pattern, like there’s an actual real healthy fear that we are not producing enough people to continue to turn over generations in this country. That is a very scary thing. Because that’s just a trajectory that we’re on right now. But this is this the state of Christianity. And when it comes to culpability, as a church, we like to absolve ourselves from why the church and why Christianity is in the state that it’s in. I mean, let’s be honest, here, this is America, and we have so much. And there’s many of us, even outside of America, I know there’s a lot of you that are listening to that aren’t even in America, but I’m sure you can attest to the same thing. We have internet access, we have theology, upon theology upon theology, we got theology for your theology, you know, we could sit back at home, and we can turn on our computer and we can fire up our favorite pastor and stream live right to our computer right into our homes, while we’re sitting at our breakfast table, eating pancakes and bacon. And just praise God. We have all of these comforts, we have all of this access to information. And I, as someone who lives here in America, I look at this country and I go, Why on earth is this country in the state that it’s in, because it isn’t for lack of knowledge. It’s definitely for lack of wisdom. And it’s definitely because of the flesh. And because of a lot of the spiritual forces that are at play that most Christians are just not even aware of. But my point is, we tend to blame the world for the state of the church. We blame fallen pastors or leaders, we blame God, we want to blame those from the Reformation era, we want to blame the white people, we want to blame the black people, you know, in the Pentecostal church, we want to blame everybody else. But we rarely blame ourselves as individuals for the things that we are doing. The part that we’re playing. And so for me, personally, that’s something I’m trying to challenge myself with. So because you guys are listening to this podcast, you are now challenged, as well. I’m challenging you. Yo like most people, I think we just tend to believe more highly or think more highly of ourselves than we really are. That’s just something that’s part of human nature. So here it is with Christmas, a day that has been essentially bludgeoned to death if we’re really being honest with ourselves. So you’re probably asking, okay, so what do you suggest? Should we not follow Christmas… like, what should we do? There’s no Christmas? Are you saying there’s no… if you’re saying there’s no Christmas, I’m hitting stop on your podcast right now, because you’ve lost it. I get it. This … where I’m going, it probably feels a little extreme. And we’re going somewhere with this. So just just hang in there, keep your seat belts on. All right, don’t get off the ride too early, because then you miss all the good stuff. But it’s gonna feel like yeah, this is extreme. But I’ve learned that that feeling is because Yo, we’re usually just operating in a mode of tradition. And so when you have something that goes against the grain, or something that we’re not familiar with, it becomes uncomfortable and real and I don’t want to deal with that. And I’m just learning as I go to continue to press into that uncomfortability, You know, like Jesus did when he went to the cross. This boy is good! All right. So do you possess… this is a question. Hope you’re sitting down because this might hurt a little bit. Do you possess the willpower to not purchase gifts for anyone that you know? Friends, family, your children. Do you possess that willpower? Just ask yourself. December 25, coming around the corner. Imagine not buying gifts for anybody, friends, family, your own kids, if you have kids, your own kids, if you don’t have kids, nieces, nephews, whatever. Now ask yourself, why do you do it? I’m asking you guys questions that I’ve asked myself. Right? The common answer is, well, it’s done in celebration of the day. But I want to challenge that thought and ask you, is it really? Is it really? I mean, on what other birthday? Do you purchase gifts for other people, except for the person that is experiencing the birthday? On what other birthday? Do you receive gifts from people knowing full well it ain’t your birthday? Now I get what you’re saying right now…that Jesus is dead. And there’s no way we can… I get that. But I think you get the spirit of what I’m saying. Why does the mere thought of this not sit right? If the day is really about Jesus Christ, the mere thought of not going out purchasing gifts for anybody. Even your own children? Why does that not sit right if the day is really about Jesus? I think many of us would stand proud and we’d declare I don’t need any gifts. I don’t expect gifts. Okay, sure. But how do you feel about not giving them. Again, to your children, family members, your friends? Stay with me, because I’m telling you this, this is the hard work, and I’m going somewhere with this. What I’m trying to do is I’m trying to get you to challenge the way you may be approaching this day. I’m trying to get all of us to challenge the way we may be approaching this day. Because again, oftentimes I get questions concerning if we should celebrate the day at all. But I want to press into this even more. Let’s really rewire our thinking and approach this in the most Christ honoring wa. I think that’s the thing we should be after. Like, every single year, millions of people, including Christians run out and purchase all kinds of gifts. We spend all kinds of money, looking for all kinds of sales, stacking gifts upon gifts underneath our trees. And I dare to say I think it’s really because we’re just all consumers. That’s the real reason why we do this. I know what you’re thinking, Nah, that’s not why I do it. Okay, no, let’s just think about this. If you’re a parent, skip the gifts this year, see how your children react? I mean, if it’s not about consumerism, it’s really all about Jesus. Don’t buy your kids any gifts, see how they react. Don’t buy gifts for those you normally would buy gifts for. Ask yourself, would that change anything with any of the relationships that you have? Now, for some people, this would cause some serious trouble. If you’re a parent, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Because many parents are like, hey, I’ve been waiting a year and I want to do this, I want to buy this, if you’re a grandparent, you’re like, Yo, I really want to buy some gifts and, and you know, spoil my children. And you know, just really love on them. Like, like you look forward to doing this thing you look forward to this day. For some, no gifts could mean a husband sleeping on the couch for a month. If you…you better not show up and have no gift for your wife. Well, at least for some of you young married couples, because when you get older, some of y’all that are older you have been married for, like a lot longer, I’ll say at least 10 years, you know what I’m talking about? Because you get to a point where you’re like, yeah, I mean, we don’t really have to do gifts. But when you’re younger, when you’re early on in your marriage, oh, you you can’t you can’t show up with no, without a gift. That’s just just the way it’s done. But here’s the question, why is this a problem? I mean, isn’t the day about Jesus? I mean, that’s what we say. That’s what we communicate to the world that it’s not about us at all. It’s about Jesus Christ. But I think if we challenge ourselves to do something just a little bit different, that there would be a different reaction. And I would wager to say that even just the mere mention of not doing things the traditional way, the mere mention of not even getting gifts for people, not receiving gifts, not buying gifts for your own children, not buying gifts for your own grandchildren. Just nobody gets nothing. Just the mere thought of that tugs at your heart. It’s just weird. It doesn’t feel comfortable and I have to keep asking myself, and this is the question I had been asking myself. Why? If it’s not about my kids, if it’s not about me, it’s not about my friends. Why? Why does it feel that way?
So my wife and I, we were talking about this. And she actually agreed with me. I know, settle down, because I know you guys think …she agrees with everything you say, ha! No, she doesn’t. She doesn’t, at least not immediately. Eventually, she comes on, hold on. Okay, I’m the only one in here. I can, I can pretty much say what I want. So yeah, so she agrees with me a lot of the time. But this this time, it was, you know, I was I was kind of surprised. She agreed with me, she even brought up the fact that our oldest girls were there at this place where they like to express their unhappiness. If one of their siblings get something from someone that, you know, they didn’t get, or someone didn’t get enough of, or their expectation wasn’t met, you know, then there’s the sibling rivalry. And there’s just, it’s, there’s kind of this nastiness to it. And my wife has been talking about… she’s been, you know, kind of mentioning it, but I didn’t really know how she felt about it until we had this conversation here recently. And it’s been eating me up, but I’m just trying to play it cool. I’m like, you know, it’s, I don’t like this. But, you know, Lord willing, it’s gonna figure itself out somehow, some way. But we had a conversation about this. And you can ask my kids about Christmas, they’ll tell you, yeah, Jesus, the birth of Jesus, the manger, Bethlehem, you know, Star David, they’ll tell you, it ain’t like they don’t know. Like most kids, if you are raising children in a Christian home. And if you’ve been raised in a Christian home, yeah, anybody can recite it. The devil can recite scripture. So this should not be a surprise. But it begs the question like, why is the heart positioned that way? So this year, we’ve challenged ourselves to go after Jesus a bit more aggressively with this day. So we basically asked ourselves, what if we started from scratch? Like, what would it look like? What would this day look like? What does it look like if we were celebrating someone else’s birthday? You know, like, a friend or family member? What does that usually look like? What is that energy? What? What’s the object of focus, the person of focus what’s happening during that moment in time? Is there a better way to represent Christ’s sacrifice to this earth than buying gifts for people that already received gifts throughout the year anyway? And what can we do to make sure we’re not confusing our own children? Or people that know us? Or how do we rather remove any stumbling blocks that could minimize or take away from the seriousness and the amazingness of what God did for each and every one of us? So in short, what I’m saying is, how do we not rob God in any way, shape, or form? And I mean, in any way. So like I said, we’re a ways out. We got a few weeks to think about this. Some of y’all are listening to the podcast, and you’re like, yo, brah, we already went out and bought some gifts. We do this stuff early. Now, I’m feeling guilty. I’m feeling convicted, um, look, no, no…, don’t feel guilty. Don’t feel convicted. There’s ways to course correct. There’s ways to you know… if this is something that is resonating with you, you know, just figure out how to work it within how you do family, you know, what I don’t want to do is lump this heavy amount of conviction on people that maybe you’ve already done this, you’ve already went out and bought a bunch of gifts, maybe this is your, your mode of operation. And you were really looking forward to this. This is just my opinion. This is just the way God I think is moving on me right now. This is something that I’m challenging myself with and our family is challenging ourselves with. And I’m putting this out there as a challenge for you guys. And so my hope is that what you will take from this is some things that you can apply to your own situation. You can live this out in a way that represents Jesus Christ. So yeah, don’t don’t feel like this is a bash on on anyone. But I do want to just press us, press us even no matter where you are right now, with this holiday, with this amazing day, just try to find ways to press yourself towards that mark.
So let me give you guys just a few ideas. Alright, just this is just some things that me and my wife were just kind of mulling around, like how do we do this like practically. And so one of the things that we talked about was no gifts. No gifts, nobody gets any gifts, except for one type of gift, if a gift is to be given, so there is an exception. That exception is, it has to be one gift. And it has to be a gift that represents Christ in what he did for us. Now, clearly, this takes some creativity. But the exchanging of gifts must point to Christ somehow. Now, this is what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean, go buy random gifts, ie some jewelry, some toys, a new shiny mac book, a cruise. And then try to attempt to toss Jesus on top of that, though, that’s no, that’s not what I’m talking… do not do that. It’s not what I’m talking about. I mean, it has to somehow point or edify the other person to Jesus, the context has to be there. Because I think it matters. So this means it could be a Bible. It could be another faith based book that’s outside of the Bible. Maybe it’s a movie, some music, some other medium, you know that you guys could you know, you can think of some things that center on Jesus Christ, it could be just time with the family with a heavy focus on what Christ did. It could be it could be a trip, it could be a trip to an ancient historic place, you know, like Bethlehem or Egypt or, you know, it could be something, I mean, not now, because the COVID stuff. But I’m just spitballing, just throwing some stuff out there. This is just a handful of things. But the idea is that if you’re going to give a gift, and you want Jesus to be the center of it, make sure the context is there. Make sure the context is because I think it’s… I think this day is really important. And I feel that we have lost the importance of this day. And I have to be honest, I think that as believers, we have to own up to the fact that we’ve done this, we’ve done this, this is our day, this is our day. Nobody is taking this day from us this is our day. Now outside of gifts, there’s some other things that can be done, which is really just focusing on others. So this is a heart kind of position. Right? So instead of purchasing gifts for people that are not in need, why not purchase things, for those that are in need? How can we be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ and one place to start would be the persecuted church. Persecuted church and if you black and you listening to this Hold on, I’m about to throw some shade. It’s going to look like an albatross flying over ya’ll heads if y’all black, and Y’all out here in the streets, talking about some African this and African that. And Y’all ain’t supporting Africa, especially as it pertains to persecution. Just gonna leave y’all with that. Just going to leave y’all with that. But straight up, you have Voice of the Martyrs, you got Open Doors, you’ve got Bible League, you there’s different organizations that you could support if you want to spend some money. You know, the, the stories that I read the stories that come out of Voice of the Martyrs and out of Open Doors, it’s just heartbreaking man like, I watch some of these stories, and I literally like I tear up… I have to click away. Just okay. Men don’t cry. I have to click away because it’s so powerful. I was watching a video the other day of a woman who lost her husband because some radical Islamist had come in to their village. And this is in Nigeria and you know, killed a bunch of people…in fact there was a Nigerian, I won’t say Nigerian, but there was a slaughter in Nigeria a couple days ago. There was like 43 people were killed, some contract workers were killed; believe the majority of them were Christians, but they were killed by the Boko Haram… they were beheaded. But this is the kind of stuff that they deal with. But this woman had lost her husband, her husband was killed. And she is just trying to figure out how she’s going to survive and how to make it with her one year old daughter and man just watching this story of her just talking about you know, her in prayer, constant prayer and trying to you know, just to seek God and ask God for food, like beans and rice and just a way out, like how am I going to eat. How am I going to feed my child and she’s living in a camp. And then you have these amazing organizations that what they do is they supply you know, they supply people. They supply those within the persecuted church with food and you know, with grain and with things so they can… fertilizers so they can try to, you know, start growing their own farm. And so they can feed themselves and feed their kids. And I look at myself, I look at many of us here in this country. And there’s plenty people in other parts of the world that are like, let’s be honest, a lot of us, it’s really not that bad. Like we were rich compared to people that are living in mud huts, they don’t have running water, when they cook, they have to go outside on the ground and light a fire within, you know, between stones and wood. And that’s how they cook their meal and how they feed their kids. And I don’t know what that’s like, I can’t even imagine that. I can’t imagine that. Even here in the United States, our poverty is like mansions to people that live in in huts, with no running water, no electricity. It’s just … kids have no shoes. It’s crazy. But my point is, there are people that are really hurting, especially since the COVID. situation, since the pandemic, they are really hurting now, even more so than normal, because of what’s taking place for COVID. So point is there are people that are really, really hurting, and they’re really praying for people like myself, and people like you to be blessed by God so that you can then bless them when you see people that don’t have, and they’re still singing and praising God. And I’m like, I’m, you know, throwing temper tantrums, because I’m not getting, you know, this shiny new thing, or this thing here didn’t go right or… and I just, it’s conviction just hits me yo, when you see people that are way worse off than yourself, it’s a good reality check. I think God leaves that type of anguish in this world, just for people that don’t have it as bad to realize just how good you have it and how good God is and how blessed you are with things that you have. But then you see the heart that people like that have. And you’re like, I want that heart. And so that’s my plea to you guys. If you want to buy something, you want to purchase something, hey, that’s, there’s an option there. The other thing that could be done as you can support people locally, so shelters, many churches have programs, they try to take up clothing and another things for those that are in need just in your local area. So that’s definitely a way to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. If you have kids, ensure some way that they’re taking part in however you decide to live this out so they can see what it what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. And so they can, they can develop a heart of their own, that’s focused on giving. So whenever this day comes around, when Christmas comes around every single year, they immediately start thinking about how do I give? How, how can I be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ? What can I do? How can I be a blessing to somebody else because Christ sacrificed himself and he was a blessing for me. Right? That’s the that’s the thing. I’m, I’m after that. So I say use the day to draw closer to God. That’s what we should be doing. We can be in meditation, we can be in prayer, just love the scriptures. Create something, that’s something else like create something, create a if you know, write a song, write a poem or a psalm like the psalmist. Create some artwork, something dedicated to Christ. I think there’s just if we’re really creative, there’s things that we can do that put Jesus Christ back at the center of this day, that’s called Christmas. The idea is to completely rewire the way that we think, as it pertains to this day, we should be so pressed that if anyone even mentions, gifts, our response should be does it point to or reflect Jesus Christ, if not, not really interested. But God bless you. They’re going to be like you’re such a self righteous snob and that’s when you say, yo, they called Jesus worse things.
Now, here’s something else I want to leave you guys with. I’m gonna leave you guys with something right? Because me and my wife were talking. And we were like, Yeah, we can buy gifts for people, even our own kids, all year long. We have grandparents, like they do the same thing. They buy gifts for them. So why are we using this day to like stockpile? Like, do we do the same thing we do all year long? This day isn’t about us and it’s not about them. I love my kids love my family love my friends. It, it ain’t about y’all. And so my wife had this brilliant idea. I was gonna take some credit, but the Holy Spirit won’t let me she’s not in here and I could literally just take the credit for this and Y’all would never be the wiser. But the Holy Spirit won’t let me do it. So it’s a conversation, me and the spirit go have when I’m done recording this podcast. She says, Why don’t we bring the new year in with the gift for everyone. And I was like, I’m supposed to be the one that thinks of these brilliant ideas. So my pride was hurt a little bit. You know, I didn’t show it too much, though. But it was, I got tagged a little bit. It was like, that’s how you working God. So you just go and jump from, you know, for me to her. Like, that’s like, I thought this is supposed to be my lane. So anyway, I looked at her and I was like, yeah, that’s genius, babe. That’s great idea. So yeah, it was, it was a great idea. It was a great idea. I’m not saying she invented this. Maybe this is something that people already do. If any of y’all do this, like, shoot me an email at [email protected] I’d love to hear it. Just tell me how it’s working out. But she came up with this. And I was like, this was genius. This is dope. Like, why don’t we do this? New year comes around, you know, we do… nothing. Nothing at all, we don’t really do anything. We don’t want. And it was like, Yo, this is a good opportunity to just bring in a good way to bring in the new year and just exchange gifts week, why don’t we do that, then, if we really want to buy a gift for someone, let’s just do it on a day that it’s not robbing Jesus in any way, shape, or form, adding any kind of confusion. It’s a day that you know, everyone is celebrating because hey, we’re all happy to be here all happy to be alive. God has given us a new year. And this just bring it in with the, you know, a gift. So everybody gets a gift. And I was like that’s. So that’s that’s a really good idea. So yeah, everyone gets a new gift. Everyone gets a gift on New Year’s Day. I think this may be come part of our family tradition. It’s just one way that helps us press more towards the mark of transforming the way that we think as individual believers, but also as a family. So let me give you guys some homework. And I’m going to ask you to press into this upcoming Christmas harder than you have in the past. Some of you have been like, Yo, dude, I’m already there. I’ve been waiting on you. That’s…aye sometimes I can be a little slow. But that’s going to be my homework challenge for every single one of you that that’s listening. What can you do to press into this day harder than you ever have? And then make that your tradition? If you’ve got a family make that your family tradition? I’m talking more than just, we all eat together. We sing songs and we give gifts. I mean, what else? Is there anything else? How else can you squeeze out more fait and press towards this mark? How? What else can you do to separate yourself from this world? That’s the thing that I’m chiefly after that I’m not talking about asceticism and living in a cave and being apathetic to the world. I just mean, how do I live as a true citizen of heaven here on this earth? And my challenge to you guys is Hey, can you do the same thing? If you have some ideas? I’d love to hear them. [email protected] And if so if you guys send me some stuff, I promise I’ll share them on the next podcast. All right. But this is your challenge. I firmly believe we need to challenge ourselves more and more, especially considering the times that we currently live in. So should we be celebrating Christmas… so I hope by now you have an answer to that and more, do your thing. Do Christmas. Yes celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ How could we not? How could we not? Let’s just celebrate it the right way. Let’s press into it like no one else has done. That’s the call.