I want to make Christmas count. Looking at all the preparation that goes into Christmas, we all want Christmas to count.
Are you ready? To make Christmas count we have to get ready. We scurry around to put the finishing touches on our Christmas and holiday preparations—a little shopping and meal preparation. Maybe gathering in the kitchen for holiday baking. All to deliver the what we think will be the perfect celebration.
This year will be no different—there is plenty of preparation yet to be done. But this year is different—recent events gave me reason to pause. I paused to consider if I was doing my job—really doing my job. When I share with you why I am asking this question you’ll understand why I am writing today.
First, a young lady who worked in my business passed away. Dawn, a mutual friend, reached out a few weeks ago to tell me that Anita had fallen gravely ill. Many of us joined together to pray for Anita. After making some progress, there was hope for a recovery. How sad it was when Dawn let me know that Anita had passed away.
Then there is Paul. I hired Paul, right out of high school, to work with us in 1998. Paul was a hard worker and a great kid. Even after my career moved me around, Paul stayed in touch.
I do care. But did I care enough? Did I do my job? My wife asked me if Anita and Paul knew the saving grace of Jesus Christ. You know—I don’t know. If I don’t know did I care enough?
Rick Warren, Pastor Saddleback Church, wrote, “You were made by God for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense.” I have come to understand that God won’t invade our lives or insist on our attention. Why should he? He has made it plain for all of us to see.
Every year the miracle of Christmas unfolds again to remind us of God’s presence and love. Jesus is the greatest gift ever given to mankind. It costs nothing to receive it other than to be intellectually available to the truth.
Truth can sometimes evade us. But the fact remains, things that are true are available to all who seek them. The sun rises in the east, an apple will fall to the ground—truth never ceases to be the truth. Truth stands firm even when it is ignored, ridiculed, challenged or mocked. I guess that is why it is called truth.
I don’t always do my job well—I don’t love enough, forgive enough, encourage enough, or help enough. I am flawed and hate to think of all the mistakes I have made along the journey of my life. And then I realize if I wasn’t flawed and failed Jesus wouldn’t have had to reveal Himself and redeem me.
A couple weeks ago, I checked in on an old friend. I called to encourage him. Leroy had suffered a stroke a few years back when we were working together. The stroke took Leroy’s career—he was a brilliant and visionary leader.
Today, Leroy says he is a “prayer warrior.” He is still leading! I called to encourage Leroy, and hung up encouraged to do my job. Thanks Leroy!
I do care. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t have written this. It is always easier to sit on the sideline. But it doesn’t change the truth. The only way to make Christmas count is to share the good news.
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”