Nativity scene at Sacred Heart Catholic Church...Well here we are on December 21, 2012—and the earth has not been destroyed.  Sadly millions around the world are relieved because they put credence into the “Mayan Calendar” hype.  But life goes on and God is still on his throne.  And our duties as Christians remain the same.

We’re just 4 days away from when we as Christians celebrate the day that God took the form of humanity to come and save a lost world.  As this is our final show before Christmas Day, I guess the normal wish for you would be “Merry Christmas!”  But I am not going to wish each of us a “Merry Christmas”—instead my wish is we have a “Disturbing Christmas”.

Do we ever reflect on the humility required of God to assume human flesh and be the necessary sacrifice for our sins?  Or is Christmas just a cool time where we give and receive presents and get to take a day or two off work?  Does this disturb you?

Are we more hung up on the store clerk who says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas?”—even though that is what her employer has ordered her to say?  Have we ever put ourselves in her shoes—wondering what we would do if our boss ordered us to do the same?  Does this disturb you?

Will this be the next in a series of Christmas celebrations where we are temporarily overwhelmed by the love of God, only to return once again to our sinful, disobedient ways?  Does this disturb you?

Millions who consider themselves Christians will show up at church next week—only to never come back until the next Christmas season—Does this disturb you?

For some reason, I am really struck by the awe of it all this year.  It overwhelms me with joy when I think of what we celebrate next Tuesday—God becoming flesh to live with us and deliver us.  It also grieves me when I think of the many times I just take that sacrifice for granted—how I go on sinning when I should know better.  How I fail to share the gospel every day with neighbors and friends; and how too often I value things of this world over God.

I feel a heavy burden when I think of so many Christians who celebrate Christmas every year—and yet they go on sinning and acting no different than pagans.  And I realize that I am just as bad in many ways.  I complain about inconsequential circumstances and too often give into my flesh, choosing to please myself instead of the one who came and died for me.

It’s time we face some cold hard facts—many Christians are “seasonal Christians” at best—for a couple of days every year around Christmas, we actually feel joy in our hearts and greet all those we meet with smiles.  But once the tree is taken down and the presents have been opened, it’s business as usual.  Back to our sinful ways and spiritual malaise, choosing the things of this world over God.  And then we wonder why we cannot reach the lost for Jesus.  Just what is it in our lives, short of these couple days around Christmas, that would cause the lost to look at us and desire to have what we have—eternal life in God?

May Christmas 2012 be the time we truly learn to trust in God.  Not a superficial trust based on our circumstances—but the faith and trust the apostle Paul acquired—learning to trust God and rejoice no matter what our circumstances.  Because that unwavering trust in God, in good times and in bad, is a testament to our faith and the key to reaching the lost for God.  History shows us that many came to a saving faith in Jesus by witnessing the death of martyrs who refused to deny Jesus Christ.  Do we have that level of passion and commitment?  Not even close.  We as Christians are often the single greatest impediment to reaching the lost.  In the words of Pogo:  “We have met the enemy, and it is us!”

So, in breaking with the Christian tradition and the norm for all other radio shows, I do not wish us a “Merry Christmas!”  Instead I hope you and I have a “disturbing Christmas.”  May we grieve over how we fail our Lord and Savior every day, trusting in this world instead of Him.  And may we commit to doing something about that in 2013.

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