October 30th, 2017 – DEVOTE

So it happens to me every year. For whatever reason, it catches me off guard. It seems to be happening earlier every year. It’s such a driving force and many really miss what’s happening. They all think it’s a gimmick, a strategy and quick buck, but in reality the message of the Gospel is being shared without most people knowing it. I’m talking about Christmas.

I realize it’s only the end of October but I’ve been seeing commercials on TV with people decorating Christmas trees and wrapping presents already. The stores have put out their Christmas displays, and we haven’t even celebrated Thanksgiving.

But this morning as I was reading the Word and thought about the commercialization of Christmas… it put a smile on my face. These big companies, might be selling their goods because the time is upon us when people will spend tons of money on their wares, but they’re also reminding us the birth of the Savior is coming.

Now, if you’ve grown up like me, in a Christian home, you’ve probably heard the Christmas story a gazillion times. But for today, I’d like us to rewind about 2000 years ago and replay it.

Here’s how most modern day people would like to see Christmas…

  1. We’d expect the Messiah to be born into a well rounded royal family. However, God chose peasant parents – a blue collar carpenter with his teenage virgin fiance.

  2. We’d expect the Messiah to be born in an influential city like Rome or Jerusalem. However, God chose the little town of Bethlehem, where the sheep probably outnumbered the inhabitants.

  3. We’d expect the Messiah to be born in a comfortable palace or at least a world renowned hospital. However, God chose a manger in a stable.

  4. We’d expect all the religious and social elite to be in attendance. However, God chose the social outcast and religious outsiders like the shepherds to witness this miracle.

Those were my thoughts as I read this today from the Word…
“But when the time was right, God sent His Son, and a woman gave birth to Him. His Son obeyed the Law, so He could set us free from the Law, and we could become God’s children. Now that we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. And His Spirit tell us that God is our Father.” Galatians 4:4-6 CEV

The people, the place, and the time were all on purpose. Evidently, when God sent His Son to this world, to launch His rescue mission, He wasn’t doing it for strategic reasons, as the world does. This wasn’t a marketing ploy to get people excited. This was to change the world.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: I know exactly why the big companies are pushing Christmas on us earlier every year. I used to get upset about it. Today, I’m celebrating. They may be doing it for all the wrong reasons, but the message of the Newborn King is still being proclaimed. So, let’s celebrate Christmas all year long!

Thank You for sending Your Son, our Savior, to set us free. Jesus, we love You. It’s in Your name we pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen