The Day after Christmas...To Keep the Lights Burning, We Need a 'Kingdom Attitude' by Jerry Branch

The Day after Christmas...To Keep the Lights Burning, We Need a 'Kingdom Attitude'
Gerald Branch
Romans 14:17
December 26, 2004

Now that Christmas is over is, what do we do?
The gifts are all opened.
The gift wrap and boxes all picked up,
and stuffed into the trash bag for the trash truck to pick up this week, and hopefully we won't go over our limit on trash bags.

The family and friends have or will be heading home soon.
The house seems to have lost its holiday atmosphere.
And now, we're soon facing the task
of taking down the tree and the decorations soon.
Pine needles all over the place and stuck in the carpet...
So, then the tree either goes out onto the trash,
or gets stuffed back into its box.

The colored lights will soon to be unplugged, and taken off the house,
and will be either be neatly stored, if you're a compulsive like me...
or just thrown into a bag and untangled next year...
I stuck mine loosely into a box one year,
and it took what seemed for ever to get them untangled.

So, that brings me to a reflective question...
Have you ever asked yourself the question...
"Is this all there is to Christmas?"
Is the spirit of Christ and His birth just a once a year thing?

I suppose if we try to answer that based on a materialistic mindset,
and judging from the return lines you'll see
if you venture out to the mall tomorrow,
there's good reason to think that Christmas
is not much more than another seasonal commercial
money making time for merchants,
and a seasonal shopping time for all the rest of us.

Personally, I want more.
Because IF all Jesus means to me, is
just a 'once a year celebration' and giant spending spree
on gifts to be given, and food to be eaten,
then that is going to leave me drained, and empty.

So, how can I go through Christmas and the months to follow,
and keep my own lights of Christ in me burning brightly?
For the Christian, it has everything to do with our attitude and perspective.
You see, ...if we see Christmas from the 'kingdom' perspective,
then we'll discover how to keep some of that glow of Christ in us shining out of our lives for the rest of the year.

In Romans, the 14th chapter, Paul addresses the Roman Christians,
as well as us, on the subject of a right 'kingdom view or attitude.'

In fact, as we look at this passage,
we find that Paul was actually addressing a very specific problem
that was plaguing the Roman believers.
It was a problem of allowing 'externals' to get in the way.
It was the problem of allowing things like eating and drinking,
and celebrating, or traditions, or whatever
to get in the way of the joy and peace,
and righteousness that should be present instead in our lives.

So Paul, in fact, is addressing a kingdom principle...
a principle that if we adhere to it,
and put it into practice in our lives,
will help keep Christ's peace and joy and righteousne ...

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