Monday, November 30, 2009

OnFire #207 Is That It?

OnFire Encouragement Letter
OnFire #207 Is That It?

Like so many others this past week in New Brunswick, our family watched the Olympic torch relay as it passed through the area. This flame started in Athens, Greece, and it will wind its way across Canada to light the flame for the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC.

We thought it would be good for the boys to see this historic occasion, so we got them up early one morning and lined up along the side of the road. Representatives from major sponsors handed out pennants and pins while we waited.

The flashing lights of police cars announced the arrival of the flame. The crowd cheered as flame touched flame and the torch whooshed into life. Then the torch bearer jogged up the hill and it was over. “Is that it?” I wondered.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I went. If the torch is passing through your area, I encourage you to go. It is inspirational to think that this flame will pass through more than 1000 communities on the way to Vancouver. Whose heart could not stir? The torch logo proclaims, “With glowing hearts,” a play on words with the Canadian national anthem.

But even as we walked back to the car the crowds were thinning. It another 10 minutes it would be hard to know anything extraordinary had happened that morning.

We could be tempted to think the same about Christmas. We make a lot of fuss and then its over. But that’s only if we make it about the wrong things. If we make it about the gifts, glitz, and glamour, we come to the end and think, “Is that it?”

But here is the good news. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” By this he meant spiritual illumination. “No one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (Jn 12:46)*

Christmas comes and goes, but Jesus continues to provide light all year long. If we take this approach, then Christmas becomes more than hustle and bustle. It really does become a celebration of Jesus’ arrival to show us the way.

Here are some ways to help us take this perspective:
• Follow an Advent Bible reading plan with your family this Christmas. There is one on my website,
• Read the Christmas story from Luke 2:1-20 with your family on Christmas day
• Simplify Christmas to take the emphasis off “things.”
• Set an example of following Jesus everyday.
• Decide to follow Jesus if you haven’t.
• Attend worship at Christmas and throughout the year

Hope this helps. Be on fire.


OnFire is a weekly letter on faith and character by Troy Dennis. This letter published Nov 23, 2009. To subscribe or reply, email Archives are located at Blog located at *Scripture taken from the New International Version.

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