Doing Christmas As A TeamJon Burgess
24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
The author of Hebrews is exhorting the church to keep gathering. It's a fresh reminder that the church is a building and not people. The church is an organism not an organization. The church is flesh and blood not brick and mortar. The bottom line is that we need to keep gathering together because we need each other! No matter what is going on around us, no matter how busy the schedule, no matter how many competing obligations we need to meet together because we need to minister and be ministered to! That's right! This passage reminds us that every member is a minister. If we don't show up we miss out on God wants to give to us and what God wants to give through us!
I was thinking about the next 21 services over the next 3 weeks and how excited I am to celebrate the birth of Jesus with our New Hope Ohana! It would literally be impossible to reach the thousands of folks who will be coming through our Sand Island campus or watching online without every person pitching in! The special messages and presentations we have planned are going to be amazing. I'm also looking forward to the unplanned moments. Those conversations in between services, the unexpected prayers, the warm hug from a friend, the timely word given that lifts the spirit. All of this is just as important as what is programmed to happen from the stage! It's God moving through each one of us to spur as on toward love and good deeds. We need everyone coming to receive and everyone coming to give. Just imgaine if Mary didn't want to risk the trip to Bethelehem? What if Joseph had called off the marriage when he found out Mary was pregnant? What if the Shepherds had decided to igore the angels and stay with the sheep? Who would have told the world about the arrival of the Messiah? What if the Magi from the East had decided they were to busy to follow a star to a foreign destination? It was the very gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that would provide for Joseph, Mary & Jesus to flee to Egypt and live there for two years before returning home when it was safe. This was doing Christmas as a team! Every one of us have something to give when we arrive to celebrate Christmas these last days of 2016! Jesus doesn't need gifts under one tree, He needs His people under one roof with the gifts He has given them! How do we love Jesus this Christmas? We show up to love much! This is His Birthday party and we celebrate by serving! This is His Birthday party and I can't wait to pack the house in honor of Him!
Lord, I pray that each of one of your sons and daughters, no matter what age or background, would come to Christmas services this year with the expectation that You have something to give to them and through them! Thank You for the privilege of joining in the wondrous story You have been sharing through everyday people like us! Christ is born! Emmanuel has come! God is with us!