Brian Cole: Merry Christmas
So, here we are amidst another Christmas season, and want to start off by wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!!
Many people will be spending time with families, giving out gifts, receiving gifts and stuffing themselves so full they pass out (I’m speaking to myself on that one)!
Let me ask this question. Do any of you, especially our children, remember even one gift they received last Christmas? How about 2 years ago? But I know there was at least one certain thing you might have received that was something you REALLY wanted, maybe something you had desired for many weeks or months, and when you received it you were SUPER STOKED and couldn’t wait to show it off to others!
As with ALL “things” in life, nothing this world has to offer us will give us long-term satisfaction, fulfillment, or purpose. We might think so: “Man, if I could just get that_______,” or, “If only I had that____, then I would be set!” Yet how long does that feeling last once you get it? After a few days, weeks, months or years the excitement over the “thing” has died down, and now you are off to wanting something else: “Man, if only I had_______!!"
But When we do receive that “thing” we desired, whether it’s a new motorcycle, a new phone (what are we even at with iphones now, 10??), a new car stereo, or in my son’s case, a new light sabre, or whatever it is , we are so excited and feeling fulfilled at the time it’s unreal! We are doing the happy dance, and we are so filled with excitement that we can’t contain ourselves, we have to show our new “thing” to others around us. We ride that new bike up and down the streets downtown revving the throttle; we walk down the school halls with our new iphone 10 high in the air so others can see it, we bump that new car stereo so everyone within 10 blocks can hear it … But again, within time that feeling of excitement WILL wear off and now we are on to wanting the next thing which we feel we NEED to have. Why? Because you CANNOT find purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction in things or even people.
When Jesus met with the woman at the well in John chapter 4, the woman offered Jesus some of the water from the well. Jesus said to her: “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again.” The dirty cistern water the woman offered Jesus represents everything we go to in the world that we think will give us purpose and the things we go to in order to feel fulfilled. But then Jesus said to her: “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up into eternal life.” And later, in John 7, Jesus says: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
Not only is Jesus Christ THE source of purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction, but also, like when we get something new and exciting, we show it off to the world … that love and excitement for Jesus Christ should also flow out of us to everyone around us like rivers of water. We want to show off Jesus to everyone we meet!! THIS is the reason we are so excited to talk to other people about Jesus. It isn’t because we are commanded to, or we are out looking for others to bring into the church for money … it’s because we have the ULTIMATE gift, the gift that never loses its luster, the gift that keeps on giving, the gift that had given us life through His death – and we are so excited that we have found truth and life
that we want to share it with the world !! Now THAT’S Christmas!! It’s about the gift of Jesus Christ that God the Father has given us. One of my favorite short verses is 2 Cor. 9:15 – “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
We do not celebrate tradition Christmas in our house. We don’t send out cards or give gifts, we don’t have a Christmas tree, but we do have the kids bake a birthday cake for Jesus. Our Christmas tradition has always been to invite others to our house Christmas day for a huge meal and fellowship. Not family, but strangers. We have always had an open invitation to those in our area who don’t have family or many friends and invite them to be our family for the day. This is also a gift we give that I KNOW we never forget, for oftentimes long-lasting relationships are born from that day and they have impacted our lives for as long as we are blessed to be upon this earth!
May God bless you all and our family wishes you all a Merry Christmas. And if you don’t have that living water yet, Jeremiah 33:3 says: “Call unto Me, and I WILL answer you …”