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Holiness and the Holidays

November 1st, 2015

Don’t Let the World Hijack Our Stuff
I enjoy the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are back-to-back celebrations that most everyone looks forward to. And what group of people has more reasons to be thankful and celebratory than…you guessed it, Christians? The season belongs to us, and we are willing to share. Both of these holidays are expressions of gratitude for God’s good provision. Sure, each year there seems to be more about Santa and less about the Savior. And sure, there’s hustle and bustle, and there’s lots of hype and distractions as people hock their wares and try to make a buck off of the season. We understand that we live in a fallen world full of fallen people influenced by a great Deceiver – what do we expect? The world’s view of Thanksgiving and Christmas is anything but…Christian.

But that doesn’t mean we have to capitulate to it, complain about it, cloister ourselves from it, be a Grinch about it, boycott it, or even roll over and act like it doesn’t exist. What then?

Season Your Speech for the Season
We can weigh in. We can come alongside the hucksters and hypocrites, the marketers and malcontents, the relativists and revilers, and the lonely and languishing of our little neighborhood. We can smile. We can slow down. We can ask. We can listen. We can carefully, prayerfully and humbly make the most of the moment to speak graciously (Eph. 4:29; 5:15). Santa is exciting! We get that. Presents are exciting! We get that. Flying reindeer, come on, that’s just cool, weird, but cool. Use it. Meet your neighbor, cashier, waitress, whomever where they are and share some of your own joy with them. “Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person” (that’s Colossians 4:5-6, by the way).

Double Whammy People (Nicely)
Enjoy and rejoice. Enjoy the provision of God. Rejoice in your many blessings. Take in the wonderful sights, sounds, and smells of the season and be thankful (Colossians again, 3:15-17). Rehearse the gospel to yourself throughout the day. Remind yourself that your life is a gift to be lived back to God out of deep gratitude. Then live out of the overflow of God filling up your own heart with Him… a double whammy of enjoying and rejoicing. Remember, “…everything created by God is good, and nothing should be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the Word of God and by prayer” (1 Tim. 4:4-5). Sanctify (set apart to God) the season through your own devotion to Christ, to His gospel, and by your own prayers that God would use you as salt and light in an unsavory, dark world.

Happy THANKSgiving and Merry CHRISTmas!

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