A Painful Stirring

Yes, I am breaking my "breech" to be "closed" until the new year, however, this can't wait. Can I be brutally honest? It is Christmas E.ve and I cannot believe how uneasy I feel about all the stuff we're giving our children tomorrow morning. And compared with most of America, it isn't much at all.

Because we have grown up in such a rich country, and do not know anything different, we're accustomed to constantly getting more and more things.

More and more things which distract. Things that cloud. Things that pull us away from being in His Word, in His presence, in His Spirit.

I've written about the stirring for a change of Christmas, and it has only become more troublesome to my heart.

I was challenged greatly by the message Francis Chan spoke on being lukewarm. (You can find the video in my sidebar). He enlightened me to a perspective I have never known.

You know the rich man that Jesus talks about in the Bible? You know, the one who asks Jesus what he must do to be saved and Jesus replied, saying to sell all his possessions and follow him? (Matthew 19:16-28). Did you ever consider that we are that rich man? Yea, me either. Kind of makes your head spin, doesn't it?

Because, according to statistics, I am richer than 89% of the world.

But why is it so hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven?

Because he is at risk for clinging to his stuff. Because stuff distracts. Giving has a two-fold benefit. First, you can help the poor. But also, you can help yourself by preventing more stuff, by giving your money away. At least, that's the challenge I am faced with.

It burdens me friends, because I don't want to be lukewarm. It burdens me because it's uncomfortable. It burdens me because I must now undo what I have allowed to be done to my children.

But, most of all, I do not want to be lukewarm. Having stuff in and of itself does not necessarily make one lukewarm. It's being distracted by it all that becomes a problem.

This is just some of the stirrings that are within me this Christmas.