Monday, December 1, 2014

Just the First of Many Christmas Devotionals You Will Read This Month

The last two weeks of November have been quite the struggle for me. But to properly share this struggle, I have to go back a couple of know....when big box stores began putting out their Christmas decorations and playing Christmas music in certain parts of the store. You know the stores.

I can be counted along with all those complainers, the self-righteous (and self-appointed) judges who criticize our society for stuffing ourselves with Halloween and then immediately start the gorge of unneeded things for Christmas, all while ignoring the one holiday that celebrates contentment.

Then people...people you and I know, started posting Christmas music videos. I watched it. I enjoyed it. But it wasn't time. You don't listen to Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving, when it is also acceptable to decorate your home. I've held this standard for a few reasons down through the years:

1. A lot of Christmas music can get annoying if played more than 4 weeks in a row. This is especially true given the fact that much of the music we hear is 17 songs sung by 1,000 different artists.

2. Can we insert jingle bells into any song and automatically make that a Christmas song?

3. I don't accept cold weather coming so early. This really has nothing to do with music, but if you're going to sing about hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts, then I will have to acknowledge the snow outside.

4. I didn't want to become one of those people, putting their Christmas cheer on before it was time. I guess you could consider me the Grumpy Cat of holidays.

So, just what is my struggle?

For the last two weeks I have really wanted to begin listening to Christmas music. Maybe it was just one too many trips past the Christmas section on my way to get a rake, since I still have leaves falling from my trees. Perhaps it was something else. Either way, I have a justification, which I need to provide to keep my holiday dignity.

If Jesus is the reason I celebrate this season (and He is!) then can my jubilation for Him really come too soon? If my celebration of Christmas is really not misguided, misinformed or misplaced (and it's not!) then surely I should not keep it to a predetermined schedule.

Let's not forget that, despite whatever history has done to try and dismantle our worship, this holiday is a reminder for us that God loved us and sent His Son to die for us. This is just the quiet and humble beginning to a rowdy victory party which we will someday take part in with God.

Maybe next year I'll begin listening to Christmas music just after Labor Day.

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