Advent Devotional | December 9, 2020
One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. Romans 14:5-6
“Treat every day like Christmas!” – Buddy the Elf
In the Christmas movie “Elf” (my personal favorite, by the way), you won’t find a character more convicted about Christmas than Buddy the Elf. In fact, the entire story hinges on his overzealous view of Christmas. By the end of the movie, Buddy’s strong convictions win over everyone around him. Just like Buddy, people live out their passions by nature. Because of that, it is essential to pay attention to your passions.
The Apostle Paul in Romans 14 brings up a good point. People have differing opinions about what days should be celebrated as “special” and what meals should be consumed on those occasions. Much of the conflict in the early church resulted from the collision of different practices and passions. For Paul, it is the reason behind, not the day of the celebration or feast, that is important. The meaning behind the celebration does matter. First and foremost, God evaluates the hearts of people, and that pattern is seen throughout scripture.
Our hearts’ intention in celebrating Christmas should be weighed more heavily than any tradition or timing. Do not be discouraged this year if your celebration looks different. It will not be the same as pre-coronavirus years, that is clear. Christmas traditions will come and go, but what God accomplished in sending Jesus during Advent will never fade. No matter when or how you celebrate, do so “to the Lord” and “give thanks to God.”
Pastor Dave Mergens