Christmas.....such a great time of year and I am really enjoying it.....
.....Daniel and Suzanne are both home.
.....It snowed a little on Thursday, so now it looks like Christmas (even though the snow is mostly gone now).
.....We got our Christmas tree and decorated it.
.....We drove through the neighborhood and looked at Christmas lights. This one was ridiculously lit up with a ton of JUNK. I'd hate to be the one paying their December electric bill! We also went to the Winter Festival of Lights in Prince George's County at the Watkins Regional Park. They had lights in every shape and form and some of them were pretty cool. There were candy canes, a Santa shooting hoops (this one appeared to move with Santa's feet on the floor and then dunking the ball), deer (my favorite one), a Maryland crab, and even a rock and roll band.
But as we drove through the park, we remarked that there was no Jesus. No nativity. No remembrance of what Christmas is REALLY about. Christmas is really about Jesus' birth. Nothing more, nothing less. Sure we enjoy the lights, the tree, the gifts, but those all have symbolism in the the true meaning of Christmas. But what does a Maryland crab, a rock and roll band, and high electric bills have to do with the true meaning of Christmas?
I'll tell you what the true meaning of Christmas is. It's a program our church had called Feed the 500. It's over 100 people from our church, New Song Bible Fellowship Church, coming together at 5:30 Saturday morning to unload 900 boxes of food from a semi truck to distribute to people in difficult economic situations. It wasn't easy getting up that early and going out in the bitter cold, but Jesus said when we feed the hungry, we are feeding Him, so that made it worth it. Daniel and John joined a group of men outside at the truck, offloading the boxes. 400 of them went on to another truck to go to a church in Annapolis and 500 of them were brought inside our church. Inside, Suzanne and I helped a group of ladies unpack boxes of milk, rice, pancake mix, and eggs and put one of each into a grocery bag. We left around 9:30, but throughout the day a constant stream of people worked to welcome the families who came to get boxes of food. Each box, which were purchased from the AngelFood Ministries to be donated to families in need, contains enough groceries for three people for one week. As families came in they were welcomed, given a warm drink, then ushered into the sanctuary where they heard the gospel message, could have their blood pressure checked, and could have somebody pray with them if they desired. Then they moved down the hall to receive their box of food. If they didn't want to participate in the activities in the sanctuary, they didn't have to. Nothing was forced on anybody. The sole purpose was to show the love of Christ and give opportunities for people to hear the gospel. Many people who came to receive food would not otherwise come into a church.
Christmas is also remembering that CHRIST came as the Messiah. What a fantastic church service we had yesterday, remembering that "unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
....Wonderful. EVERYTHING Jesus did caused wonder and awe.
....Counselor. Christ is God's Counselor. He is the only One who can be in counsel with God. We like to think we can tell God what He should do, but Christ is really the only One who God listens to for counsel. And He counsels us how to act and behave as well. He wants us to spend time with Him, love on Him, and sit at His feet listening to His advice. With a Counselor like this, why do we act so confused and upset so much of the time???!!
....Mighty God. We should fall at His feet!
....Everlasting Father. He is the Man who abides forever, the Father of the future age, and the Father of eternity.
....Prince of Peace. He removes all peace-disturbing powers. Nothing outside of Jesus can give you peace.
When I looked through my pictures of the Christmas lights, this was at the end. I have no idea how or when I took a picture of nothing. But with out Jesus, that's what Christmas is. NOTHING. Emptiness.