by Jace Bower
Take a quick look at your calendar and tell me what you see. That's right, it's December! It's almost 2015 (mind blown), time for Christmas treats (diet blown) and dreams/realities of a white Christmas (snow blow'n'). However, as the lights go up, the temperatures go down, and the days become busier and busier, a universe-shaking truth lies under it all: God came to live with man. It may not seem like much, but then again, we've been hearing it for the past two thousand years. Let's make one thing a priority this season: to "never lose the wonder" of the Incarnation.
One of the most basic ingredients in the gospel is our sin. Sadly, through one man, Adam, many became sinners. This ought to be clear during our Christmas season as we watch, all too often, as greed and selfishness dominate a holiday of giving and gratitude. Sin separates from God so naturally that sin should remind us that we have a broken relationship. However, Christmastime is a jolly season, because there is more.
Though God cannot stand sin and though man cannot stand in God's presence because of said sin, God has made a way to renew the broken relationship: He came to dwell with man. If that isn't enough to knock us down flat with awe, He came as baby. He didn't just drop out of the sky and proclaim His presence - He came like we all did.
Now, two thousand years after that miraculous event, we are setting up lights, baking cookies, wrapping presents and singing carols. It ought to all point back to the Incarnation. Traditions are a great way to get into the Christmas spirit, as long as we don't waste the spirit on traditions. I will be the first to tell you how much I enjoy tradition (cue the music from Fiddler on the Roof), but it would be a shame if we missed the opportunity to share the most amazing event in history with the world because we forgot about it ourselves.
Jesus is the reason for the season. I know it sounds cliche but I've found that a lot of cliche sayings happen to be true. Let's not forget that. Nor can we afford to forget to tell others about the true Father Christmas, the Father of Lights who showers his kids with blessings (James 1:17). As you prepare to put on the many hats the season brings: baker, tree decorator, caroler, gift wrapper, Salvation Army volunteer, etc., don't neglect one of the most important hats of all: evangelist.
Merry Christmas on the behalf of the High Command!
I truly hope you all are having a blessed holiday season. In the midst of all the rush, I hope that you all take a few minutes to simply think about what this time of year represents. We usually think of the season of advent as a time of candles and traditions, but how often do we truly prepare our hearts for what Christmas means?
Once again, a year is coming to a close.
It has been truly a blessing to be apart of the VDP this year! We have accomplished so much from fundraisers to our first big gathering! I look forward to what 2015 will have in store for us!
I encourage you to reflect on all the activities of this year. Make a list of things you would like to get done this coming year and find an accountability buddy who will encourage you along the way! This is truly a great way to make progress in our journeys and goals.
I will leave you with this parting thought on the new year:
Do not waste it. Do not underestimate it. I guarantee you will never be the same.
Keep on shining!
Taylor McArthur, VP
The members of the Valiant Defender's Party, usually the High Command, write the blog posts here. Announcements, experiences, issues, projects, stories, and everything Valiant is discussed.