Guest post by Nathan Thebridge. Nathan grew up in the Southwestern suburbs of Sydney, Australia. Attending church with his family was a significant part of his youth. In his early teens, Nathan was given the option of going to church Sunday mornings or staying home. He chose church. A decision, he will tell you, that marked the beginning of his spiritual journey. Today, church is where you find Nathan on Sundays. He is a pastor, passionate about building community within the local church, and writes a weekly blog, Chasing Light, to inspire a generation to look for God’s fingerprints in their everyday, ordinary lives. He and his wife, Norma, live in Sydney, Australia, with their two children, Rachael and Aaron, and their dog, Oliver. Connect with Nathan here.
He is the thread that brings it all together. Nothing can exist apart from Him. In Him we find meaning, our values are defined, and our purpose is discovered.
As I write this post we bid goodbye and farewell to another Christmas season. The decorations are slowly being packed away, placed back in the boxes from where they came, tucked away in storage, ready and prepared for hibernation; so long, until next year.
So reflective I find myself pondering the year ahead as the lights on the trees dim. Nostalgia sits like a mist in the back of my brain as anticipation builds about what lies ahead. The carols we proclaimed still hum away in the background; they’re on fade but still sing. I’m holding onto Christmas.
Luke’s words still ring loud as he told of an angelic encounter with a group of lowly shepherds; ‘for I have come to bring you good news, the most joyous news the world has ever heard!’ The greatest gift the world has ever known was wrapped in strips of cloth and found lying in a feeding trough. Is this not worth holding on to? The promise that a rescuer was born for you and for me – this promise brings a peace beyond understanding. I’m holding onto Christmas.
But, there is a strange conflict for many of us around this time. The argument is not new; it’s been around forever. The debate hides within our ranks, a battle that resurfaces every season. The elephant in the room. Is Christmas a religious ‘holy’ day or just pagan ritual? Should we decorate the trees and our mantle pieces, or keep Christmas still and small? And while I don’t want to be contentious or pick a fight, I do want to put something out there; a pause for thought, designed to strategize and take advantage. Whether it’s Christian or secular, I’m happy to share Christmas with the world!
The Gospel of John starts with the wondrous story of light.
‘In the very beginning the Living Expression was already there. And the Living Expression was with God, yet fully God. They were together face to face, in the very beginning. And through His creative inspiration this Living Expression made all things, for nothing has existence apart from Him! Life came into being because of Him, for His life is light for all humanity. And this Living Expression is the Light that burst through gloom-the Light that the darkness could not diminish.’
With all of that, I ponder a question; why not share Christmas with the world? Not just December 25, but every day? Whatever concerns may exist in secular traditions, we know it all began with Jesus. From the wondrous beginning, Yahweh spoke and created. He is the thread that brings it all together. Nothing can exist apart from Him. In Him we find meaning, our values are defined, and our purpose is discovered. Therefore, I’m motivated to shout out “give me my decorations, light those trees, and sing those carols; let me share it with the world-let’s hold on to Christmas.” Let the story of God’s light burst through the gloom for no darkness can diminish it.
I’m holding on to Christmas—can’t wait ’til next December!
If you held onto the truth of Christmas every day, what would that change?
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