Lesson #2 – Why should we even bother celebrating it?
I am big on visual illustrations and movies and such so that is why I use a lot of videos. I think you will enjoy this one.
What were your reactions to the video?
How did it change your perception on how we should approach the holidays?
DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT FOR CHRISTIANS TO CELEBRATE THIS TIME OF YEAR?
For some it is a waste of time to think about religious seasons like Advent, Lent and others. They point to verses like Colossians 2:16-17 saying religious days should not be recognized. Actually the verses point to religious days as being a REQUIREMENT for spiritual growth. We shouldn’t require people to observe it but we should also not say that it is pagan or evil to observe the days.
WHAT ARE SOME REASONS YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE CELEBRATE THIS SEASON?
Below are some reasons I think we should celebrate Advent or Christmas (or the holidays if you can;t bring yourself to say those two). [I am not going to expound much on these as I wanted to give you just a raw outline]
- Because everyone else is talking about it. Good or bad people are talking about gifts, vacation and this is the one time many people will cross the threshold of a church auditorium. To not talk about the birth of Jesus, the point of advent and the hope of mankind is, at best, awkward. Imagine you never go to a church and you decide to pick the local church of Christ to attend Sunday morning Christmas worship. You listen to the songs and they sing Blues Skies and Rainbows, The Old Rugged Cross, Each Day I’ll Do and you think, “What is going on here?” Then you the preacher gets up and you think, “Well this will be better as he will talk about Jesus.” But he delivers a sermon on premillenialism and never mentions Jesus. Was that ok? Sure. Did they do things biblically? Absolutely. Dis they miss an opportunity? You better believe it. This is an opportunity to make sure the right story is told. They hear stories of consumerism, selfishness, and gluttony why not correct that with the real story of Jesus?
- It allows us to see how God redeemed mankind, and how he will eventually redeem the church. God created everything good (Gen. 1) but eventually mankind encountered the Fall (Gen. 3) but God established his covenant with his people (Gen. 9, 12; Exodus 20, et al) and assured the people that eventually the Messiah would come to redeem the people from their oppressive state. Jesus came to save mankind from their fallen state and died on the cross for our sins. To participate in the saving act of Christ we become disciples of the church through faith, grace and baptism. God has promised (Rev. 21-22) a particular time where he will redeem the church and we will live with him forever. The first coming was the birth of Jesus and the second coming will be his return.
- It places perspective on what our weaknesses truly are. Last lesson we learned about what Christmas really has become: a consumerist buffet for getting things we really do not need. We as an American people struggle immensely with greed which, ironically, was something Jesus did not come for. He came to free the captives and proclaim the favorable year of the Lord (Isa. 61:1-2) yet we proclaim it the year of the iPad, the PS3, the cool outfit, or insert whatever you have desired. Advent forces us to focus on THE reason for Christmas: Jesus Christ. Not just Jesus in a Let’s-sing-sappy-songs-about-Jesus-and-feel-all-warm-and-fuzzy-inside kind of way but a Jesus is going to come again so you better be ready kind of way. That’s perspective.
- It gives us an evangelistic (missional) thrust with a sense of urgency. My good friend Rusty Pettus is doing a series of lessons called, “Telling Your Friends About Jesus” where he is taking advantage of the season to help his students talk to others about Jesus. Great time to do this as it gives us a sense of preparation and urgency. Right now!