I would like to put a book under many “believer’s” tree this year. It is called Devotion for Dummies. I’m still writing it because, in many ways, I myself am … well, “slow.” It’s for all those believers who saw an image of the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich which sold on E-bay. It’s for all those believers who swear God was sending a message with that rust and salt stain under that highway overpass in California. It’s for all those believers who are lugging around a two ton replica of the ten commandments, making God’s law heavier than God Himself imagined. It’s for the believers who think Christmas has anything to do with the mania and hysteria of excess that infects large crowds like the flu every winter. It’s for all the believer’s who think the church is a building or something that can be listed in the Yellow Pages.
It’s impossible to take Christ out of Christmas. Christmas is worship in Spirit and in truth. Christmas is as much an idea being conceived in the heart, (one heart at a time) as it is the Christ being conceived in Mary. Once Christ is conceived in a sinner’s heart it is the heart that changes, not the world or Wall Mart down the street. Too many have gift wrapped Christmas in religious ribbons and bows and try to stuff in down the other guy’s chimney.
In real devotion, every man must find that lonely manger stall and worship God alone. Each believer must bow as much as believe in the simplicity of Christmas. The cradle is the starting point, but the cross is the point. The life of Christ was one of serving God and sacrifice. His life was one of devotion. Christ came to show us how to live, and how to die, and how to live with Him forever. It has nothing to do with what most call Christmas. The wise men went home “another way.” Most of us go home every Sunday the same way we came.
Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace and this world is still in pieces. The wise men gave Him gold. He gave us the Golden rule. The wise men gave Him frankincense. He showed us that worship and service are the same. The wise men gave Him myrrh. He showed us how to die and how to live with Him forever. Law makers can give us a holiday, which is, at best, a “day off.” I hope you, at least, get that this Christmas. However, no man-made law, city ordinance, or town council can keep me from celebrating Christmas. Nor can any keep me from bowing in my heart, knowing Peace on Earth, and having good will to men.