Join the One. That’s the theme for this Christmas blog series. If we want to experience a soul-satisfying Christmas, we need to join Christ…focus on Christ…ponder Christ…live and give and love like Christ. We need our hearts to take on the texture of Christmas.
Luke 2:1-19 is one of the most well-worn tellings of the Christmas story. Luke’s description of Christmas has all the traditional pictures, pregnant Mary, swaddling clothes and a manger. There are shepherds with their sheep and angels with their song…and of course little baby Jesus. It closes with these words, “But Mary treasured up all this things, pondering them in her heart.” The events of the day were her treasure and she thought about them often.
Have you ever noticed that what we think about most, begins to shape the texture of our hearts? Think about all that could go wrong and our hearts take on the texture of worry or fear. Fill my mind with myself and my heart takes on the texture of entitlement and pride. Fill my mind with a person and my heart begins to be filled with that person. Fill my mind with my job and my heart takes on the texture of work. Think about this, “Mary’s heart began to take on the texture of Christmas.”
What would it look like for your heart to take on the texture of Christmas? Now let me qualify that…the texture of Christmas has nothing to do with Black Friday, Santa, or Turkey. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with Black Friday, Santa or Turkey. (Well maybe I’m saying there is something wrong with Black Friday.) I’m simply saying that if the Friday after Thanksgiving wasn’t black, Santa was a myth, and turkeys were extinct, we could still celebrate Christmas.
What is the texture of Christmas? Today and tomorrow I’ll give you a few memory aids to help you ponder Christmas so often that Christmas begins to shape the texture of your heart. Here is the first one.
Christmas Cards: In the next few days you may start to send or receive Christmas Cards. Someone will sit down and go through the people they know and make a list. They will make a list of the friends who will get a card. If you get a card, you made it on their friendship list.
Thank God for friends, but my challenge goes beyond that. Before you put that card in the Christmas card basket, I want you to hold it for just a moment and say this, “Christmas means that I’m on God’s friendship list.”
The apostle John lets us know that if we open our hearts up to Jesus, that Jesus considers us his friends. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are my friends… If you follow my ways…no longer do I call you servants, but I call you my friend.” (John 15:12-17)
You are on God’s friendship list. Do you know what that means? God knows your name and your address. You are not forgotten. The best human friend you have is flawed, but you have a friend who will never fail you; a friend who knows the truth, will tell you the truth, but will never reject you; a friend who will always have time for you and will come alongside you when you feel overwhelmed. That’s the message of Christmas. You are not alone…God is with you.