All That GlittersBy Pastor Brian
The malls are decorated. Everywhere you look things appear “Christmassy”. Every time you turn around, there is another Christmas tree, many of which have shiny boxes all wrapped up under them. And these boxes are . . . empty. There’s nothing inside them. Their only value is aesthetic which isn’t of itself a bad thing. But they derive their aesthetic value from a real thing. How much better is a real present than an empty, although decorated, box?
The same thing is true of following Jesus. In encouraging his disciples to live an authentic faith, Paul calls out some “wrapping paper Christians” as “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” (2 Tim 3:5) My fear here is not that people (or corporations) who aren’t Christians would loose their Christian wrapping, but that we who have committed to following Jesus might focus so much on the wrapping that we effectively deny the power of the Holy Spirit to transform us and others from the inside out.
At Christmas we celebrate the greatest Gift ever given. But it didn’t come in the wrapping paper that was expected. The Gift Himself was priceless and gave us His Holy Spirit. This Christmas, let’s spend less time on cups and corporations and more time praying for our neighbors, and following the lead of the Holy Spirit to invite them to take part in the greatest story ever told.