Christmas and Christians without the living Jesus visibly, presently, and actively working in and through them are like the World Cup without soccer or the Super Bowl without football. They are like a darkened light house.
The Christmas season overflows with decorations and pageantry but rarely has any room for the living Jesus. When Christmas is spelled without a space, Christ is crowded out and not pronounced. Make a space in Christ_mas for the living Jesus.
The Light of the living Jesus dawned about 2,000 years ago. Looking to the birth of Jesus and beyond, the prophet Isaiah wrote: “On those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Ever since the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, there’s no reason for humans to live in or to even linger in darkness. Jesus tells his followers, “You are the light of the world.” Paul reminds Christians that “God has shinned in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
People don’t wait until Christmas Day to put up and turn on their Jesus-birth lights. How the hurting people around us need to see Christians who will dazzle them with the brightness of Christ’s light all year long!
Without the active and present working of the living Jesus, Christmas is like a huge puppet show without a puppeteer. In order to let the risen Jesus empower us to be the ever-shinning stadium lights of the kingdom of God we need to go beyond religion and church as usual.
Instead of repeating the same Sunday morning routine until people finally drop out of church, perhaps it would be better to graduate people and send them out with prayer and blessing to live their daily lives all year long in the power and presence of the living Jesus. There are much more effective ways to disciple people and empower them to shine their light than making them dependent on a Sunday sermon.