I have to admit, I’m not surprised. One week before Christmas, all media buzz and attention has turned to a family who are dearly loved and known around the world. And whether or not you agree with Phil Robertson, the story has most likely grabbed your attention. Coincidence you say? I think not.
Don’t let the enemy steal your Christmas. He’s trying to you know. You may not even realize it until it’s too late. Distractions. Busyness. Resentments. Media hype. The quest for more stuff to fill our aching hearts with something that may satisfy, at least temporarily. Sometimes his ways are subtle, sometimes it’s more clear. He uses the latest headlines to make us react in anger and emotion, forgetting about the real reason we’re celebrating this very week. He tempts us to fill life with so much hustle and bustle, that we’re too exhausted to even enjoy our days, and much too busy for God. He whispers his lies as choice morsels to our souls, leading us to compare ourselves with others, begging us to believe that we need more to make life complete. He breeds worry, anxiety, and fear deep in our hearts, planting seeds that take firm root as we cater to their needs. His ways always lead to a downward spiral of debt, stress, and defeat – never feeling like we can even achieve what we so desire. His ways are simply three-fold – to steal – to kill – and to destroy.
Even since that very first Christmas, he’s worked and plotted in subtle ways. Spreading lies about the birth of Jesus. Striving to bring chaos and disorder on that one holy night. Breeding jealousy and resentment in the heart of a king who didn’t want to share his throne with a tiny baby.
One tiny baby who changed the world…who changed my life.
Over the years, he still works his plan year after year. Causing disunity. Bringing loneliness. Creating disruption. Destroying friendships and families in a multitude of ways, all in an effort to de-throne our King.
Stealing. Killing. Destroying.
I can almost see him smiling as he sees his plans succeed. Another relationship broken. Another mind distracted away from the true meaning of Christmas. Another heart hurting, stumbling in continued darkness, striving to find their way…once again missing the miracle of the Savior’s birth.
But then, I smile. And my smile knows the Truth. Because I know he cannot win. I know the end of the story. I’m reminded that Jesus, the Savior of the world, came for one reason. He came to set us free. I know that people will be stirred to remember the meaning. The story that cannot be held back…that will not be covered up…that cannot stay forever hidden or lost in the popular culture of our world today.
Because He shines. He shines in darkness and nothing can cover His power…His forgiveness…His love.
Loving others doesn’t mean you must always agree. Respecting another’s opinion doesn’t mean you must believe it to be true for yourself. You can live with compassion and still stand on your own convictions.
Choose to focus on what’s most important. Choose to love. Choose to speak with respect and kindness. Choose to respond in wisdom and not react out of emotion. Choose to let go of negativity. Choose to stand on your own beliefs, even if it’s different from the most popular view. Choose to be confident in Him. Choose to celebrate CHRISTmas.
Like many of you, we love the Robertson family, and Duck Dynasty, but they will not be our focus this week. And I have a strong feeling, they really don’t want to be anyway.
Back to the focus. “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
He loves us. He just does.
Celebrating our Savior.