"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone."
Isaiah 9:2 ESV
Good afternoon Calvary,
Today is December 1st. Already, many people I know have their Christmas trees. One by one, homes around Wolfeboro are being dressed up and lit up. The town tree is exceptionally tall this year, the Christmas parade went off without a hitch, and Santa's hut is open for business. The "most wonderful time of the year" is here!
As we look ahead to the 25 days before Christmas, my encouragement to all of us is that we take time to intentionally set our right priorities. It's so easy for the tyranny of the urgent and the business of Christmas to crowd out what really matters - people. After all, that's why Jesus came, to save sinners, i.e. human beings. If He came to the world to save people from their sin and redeem fallen humanity, then those same people should be the focus of our efforts as His followers.
Some of those precious people live in our own homes. As a pastor, who is also a husband and a father, I know all too well how easy it is to allow this season to crowd out my amazing family. I have to make the extra effort to carve out time and head space so that they don't get the wrong impression about what really matters to me. Kari and I have already been talking about what we plan on doing with our children over the next few weeks and while they are on break from school. If you have children at home, I hope you will too. It doesn't have to cost money, it doesn't have to be far away, it just has to happen.
That being said, most of the people Jesus was born to save don't live with us, but many of them do live near us; in our neighborhoods and throughout our town. This Christmas, as we seek to share the good news of Christmas with those who haven't heard or don't fully know, I challenge you to be willing to be uncomfortable for those around you. Perhaps you would even step out and join our church's effort to go door to door and invite as many people as we can to come and experience the love ofJesus personally. This Sunday, we launch ourselves out from 43 Mill Street into the furthest reaches of the town of Wolfeboro. My prayer is that many teams from our ranks would saturate this area with God's truth and love. We all know that there are thousands of women, children, and men who live within 20 minutes of our property, but have no idea that we are here and no idea that they are in desperate need for a Savior. There isn't a better time to make Him known, and to make His message and work obvious.
The Gospel contains the incredible reality that God, the creator of the universe, in an act of extraordinary unconditional love, was crucified in the place of you and I. You already know that Christmas is the day we celebrate the birth of "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." Don't keep what you know to yourself this Christmas. Begin praying now, and then be ready to get out of your house, out of your comfort zone, and out into the places where the darkness will only be permeated by our light; the light of Jesus Christ and His good news.
For His Glory and the salvation of the lost this Christmas,