Keeping it Real through the Holidays-From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and to our “Keeping it Real through the Holidays” series. If this is your first time, please be sure and read at least yesterday’s blog so you will be able to jump right into the conversation. For those of you returning, a big “Hi” and hug to you! Grab your coffee and come on in.

So after receiving those words for the poem “Gifts of the Season,” the picture was starting to become a little clearer and not so blurry. It’s not these traditions and practices that we’ve adopted from pagan forms of worship that He desires, but these gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. By the way, “pagan” means: “A person having no religion. One who worships gods.”

Let’s talk about that for a second. See, I don’t have a “religion” either; I happen to have a relationship with THE Living God. I’ve finally grasped the difference, and believe me, there is a difference. Religion is why God had to send His Son because no person is without sin and where sin dwells, Grace now abounds. Religion, though, points us to our need for relationship!

Anyway, I could go much deeper into scripture that talks about God’s opinion about all of these traditions, but you must search your own heart for the reason behind each tradition you practice and compare it to historical data to make sure you’re in alignment with His word. That’s relationship! All I can confess is that my own research has caused me to look into my own trunk to clean out any junk in there as it relates to this season; otherwise, it’s hard to distinguish whether paganism has been Christianized or my own Christianity is being paganized. Even as I write this, my brain is challenged. Let me put it a different way and see if I can wrap my brain around it a little more: Are the things that I do for this season a form of paganism I’m trying to Christianize, or is my Christianity – my Christ-likeness – taking on any form of paganism? Wow, this is a question that will definitely cause you to think if you are one that likes to keep things real.

One of the reasons I have to ask myself that question is because the more I research and study His word, the more convinced I am that He wants nothing to do with all this stress, anxiety and pressure that we go through year after year, and all in HIS name! Giving gifts should be a “get to,” not a “have to” but as we see every year, people pushing and shoving to get in the doors to make their purchases, many of them made with plastic, and long after the gift has been given, the price tag is still ringing. Why do we do what we do during this season? It’s a profound question and one that shouldn’t be ignored. We must remember that we are in the world, NOT of the world.

We’ll explore that just a bit more in our next coffee hour. Have a joyous weekend, and whatever you do this weekend to prepare for this season, I pray that your guide will be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Evinda

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