Faith & Insight: ‘How will you leave Christmas?’
For the Nevada Appeal
I was reading an article a couple weeks ago, and the author asked a question that stuck with me. He asked, “How will you leave Christmas?” And as we enter 2011, I want to ask you the same question. How will you leave Christmas?
Matthew tells us of a group of wise men who came seeking the Christ-child. They came to worship and adore him. They came to have an encounter with the king of the Jews. Matthew records part of their journey. The Magi had to stop and ask for directions, and when they received their proper route they found the boy. Then Matthew says in Matthew 2:12, “And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”
They went back to their country by a different route. They didn’t go back the same way they came in. They didn’t retrace their steps.
I love that Christmas is so near the beginning of a new year. As we leave Christmas, we get to ask ourselves what will be different in this next year. Will you simply repeat the year again? Or will you work to experience something different, something better? Some people seem like they have years of experience, but, in reality, they just have one year’s experience repeated over and over again.
Having an encounter with God should change us. It should propel us into the next chapter. It should adjust our direction.
There are times where we get comfortable with life, and then we start keeping God at a distance so that He can’t upset the path that we are walking.
Those first people to gaze upon Christ on the very first Christmas went back to their same lives, but they didn’t live the same way. The wise men were headed home, but they weren’t going back the same way. They would not visit the same places; they would not meet the same people.
You and I are headed back to our same lives, but as we leave Christmas will we leave the same way. All of us came to Christmas, and none of us should go back the same way.
As we leave Christmas behind and look to 2011 do not simply repeat 2010. Do not simply repeat what you’ve known. Let God change your direction. Let him set you on a different route. When someone asks, “How are you leaving Christmas?” be able to tell them that you are leaving differently.
• Jacob Musselman is co-pastor at Capital Christian Center.