As the year closes out the flurry of activities to celebrate CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR accentuates to a high crescendo that deafens our reasoning and common-sense in several areas. One of such areas is the credit card bills we recklessly rake up during this season while throughout the year we have been careful about how we use them.
We should quickly remember that these holidays are meant for us to focus on God and not on ourselves. It is to celebrate God and not having elaborate and expensive celebrations for ourselves. The material cost of these holidays should be minimal. The actual cost that is needful is to surrender our hearts.
This is a time for us to pause and worship Christ the newborn King. We sing with the angelic choir and go with the wise men to give our gifts to Christ our King. Is it not so sad that we buy gifts worth hundreds of dollars and give them to family and friends, but have nothing to give the Celebrant? When we give gifts to the least of these, the needy, then we are giving to the Lord. How about adding some unknown needy people to your list of those you will buy gifts for this Christmas? What about giving to organizations that feed the homeless, minister to prisoners, refugees and even directly to some widow you know?
NEW YEAR Holiday.
This is a day that even the proudest person somehow realizes that he/she made it into the New Year by divine intervention. There are better people than us that did not make it into the New Year. This is a day to look back and thank God for taking us through the year that just ended and to look forward with hope to the New Year just starting. We cannot thank ourselves but God who brought us through; and the same God who will carry us through the New Year.
So, if these two holidays are about God and not us, then it is God that we should celebrate and not ourselves. The celebration that pleases God is that we desire to know Him more and live for Him. If your heart’s cry will be like that of Moses, David and Paul, you will be on the right path to celebrating God this holiday season.
Moses: “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Exodus 33:13
David: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Psalm 42:1-2
Paul: “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” Philippians 3:10.
And this is how God views people like Moses, David and Paul: “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Isaiah 66:2b.
I pray that God will be the focus of our celebrations this holiday season and not ourselves. When we celebrate God, God celebrates us, and this paves the way for us to celebrate with others as well.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!! & BLESSED NEW YEAR!!!
Author: Rev. Sunday Bwanhot, ECWA USA DCC Chairman
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago and ECWA USA DCC Chairman.