The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Have you ever heard of Heavenly beans? Little Carrie thought that this time of year was for heavenly beans because people sing about it everywhere. She thought of the popular Christmas song, Silent Night, that ends with the line, "sleep in heavenly beans." It was her favorite Christmas carol.
Carrie’s brother corrected her. He said, "do you ever see beans at Christmas? Of course not! That’s because it is NOT "heavenly beans." It is, "sleep in heavenly peas."
We chuckle at the misunderstanding of these two youngsters, but they are not the only ones to have misguided thoughts about the season.
Have you ever taken a Christmas test?
For instance, “What beast of burden carried Jesus mother to Bethlehem?” Well, all the pictures show it was a donkey. But the truth is, the Bible does not say that she rode on a donkey or any other animal. Very likely, the pregnant Mary had to walk from Nazareth the 70 miles to the city of David.
How many Magi (Wisemen) followed the star to Bethlehem to worship the Son of God? If you said “three” you could be incorrect. No one knows how many there were. Yes three gifts were touted as laid before the young king, but again, Scripture does not record their number.
Some people have come to believe that December is the month in which Jesus was born because of when we celebrate it. Christmas was actually not even celebrated by the church for close to 300 years after his birth. It was officially celebrated on December 25 in 336AD.
Christmas has fallen victim of its popularity. The gift giving aspects spawned a tradition of commercialism and materialistic greed. Many people go into dangerous debt so they can impress others with their “elaborate generosity.” The gift giving generated the glorification of a chubby mystical elf dressed in red and white who has been deified as being omniscient and omnipresent (he knows everything and is everywhere).
Only God has those attributes.
Even those who celebrate the Christian aspect of Christmas often focus so heavily on the baby in the manger, they can forget the purpose of his coming and forget that he came to ultimately die on the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of the world and to be raised to life from the dead to give his people victory over the grave.
I love the Advent celebration because it focuses on God, his love for us, his plan to save us and why we should be devoted to him for more than just a day in December. Through this celebration we are encouraged to look to Jesus as our everything. We see him as the only way to hope, peace, love and joy because only in and through him can we experience these ultimate expressions of holiness and salvation. I hope that this Advent and Christmas you will avoid the misconceptions and distractions that get in the way of CHRIST-MAS, or Christ Worship. Let us worship Jesus who truly is the reason for the season.
This Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent. We will light the candle of love and share a message of Hope based on the third week of our Advent Daily Devotional Guide with a message titled, Immanuel: God With Us based on Luke 1 & 2. Please join us in this exciting adventure with Jesus.
Seeking the real Christ of Christmas,