Welcome to the official start of the Christmas season with its ever-present soundtrack. Before we all break into a chorus of “Joy to the world, the Lord has come” may I ask a personal question?
Is Jesus really your Lord?
Simple question. I sometimes think we complicate Christmas with cantatas, carols and the hanging of the green to evade simple truths. Before God got around to instituting ritual in worship, He set forth a single requirement for relating to Him: Obey me.
I looked up the definition of “obey” in our Scholastic Children’s Dictionary: to do what someone else tells you to do, follow.
Most of us have problems with obedience. We don’t like to be told what to do – especially when we don’t understand it or don’t agree with it. But God can only be our God when we are willing to obey Him despite all that. Jesus’ instruction to true disciples still is “Follow me.”
In the coming weeks, each of us will make sacrifices in the spirit of the season. We’ll give to charitable causes, board planes for obligatory visits with difficult relatives, go into hock to buy just the right gifts, attend parties with people we don’t even like.
Once-a-year sacrifices can be easier to make than submitting our wills daily, just as it’s easier to sing about lordship than live it.
Advent is all about anticipating the Lord’s coming, so why not seriously consider His question: “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I tell you?”