Dec 21, 2018 | 3 min read | Dave Patty
I don’t think they read the instructions.
Every year I am curious to see the Christmas decoration theme in our local shopping mall in the Czech Republic. Living in the most atheistic country on earth is an interesting adventure – especially around a holiday that marks the birth of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. One year, the decorations were themed around hairy “junior demons” with little horns on their heads. Monsters at Christmas? Really? This year, shoppers have a much more benevolent mascot, the “Angel of the Lord”. He is a gentle-looking older man with grey hair, dressed in a white robe, ready to bless you as you empty your wallet.
I don’t think they read the instructions. When the true angel of the Lord shows up, we all fall on our faces in awe and worship. He commands the stage as King of Kings, and will not be co-opted into man’s agenda. The truth revealed in Scripture tells us that the Angel of the Lord is none other than Jesus himself, God Almighty in visible form. He is no mascot for our shopping excursions.
It is easy to miss the instructions at Christmas. Man’s agenda is very distracting – gifts to buy, meals to prepare, events to attend. God’s agenda is focused and clear – the revelation of his character in the Word made flesh and the rescue of lost souls.
Those “junior demons” are very real, and they want to steal Christmas from all of us. Here are two ways you can stay on God’s agenda during this holiday season:
- Worship. When Jesus was born, John records that he saw: “his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Christmas is a time to look deeply into this glory and respond in awe and worship. Ask God for opportunities today to stop and worship him, then do the same again tomorrow. Let worship be your personal playlist as you move through the holidays.
- Mission. The mission of the Son was to make the Father known (John 1:18). When you join that mission, you are joining the Father’s agenda. Is there someone you can share the gospel with during these next weeks? Should you visit your neighbors, or invite them over for coffee? Can you pray as a family together for your lost friends? Since “the Father is always working”, he has opportunities already prepared.
You have already joined the Father’s mission by giving and supporting your Josiah Venture missionaries. As part of your holiday celebrations, could you spend extra time praying for them, jot them a quick note, or bless them with an end of the year gift?
Thanks for caring about the instructions.
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