Thinking Christmas in 90 degree weather

Call me old fashioned, call me a Minnesota boy, call me whatever you want, but it is hard to think about Christmas being just around the corner when you are sweating in 90 degree weather. Christmas needs cold weather, snow, hot apple cider and lefse!

Africa has none of the above. I don’t care that Jesus never celebrated Christmas with snow, I don’t care that much of the world celebrates Christmas without snow. Christmas without snow is like a birthday with out cake, it just isn’t the same!

That being said, I am looking forward to this years Christmas!

My time in Africa has taught me some very valuable things about who I am, who Christ is, and what’s most important in my life. I have seen a different side of the human race. I have new things to be thankful for. I have a new appreciation for life.

Christmas is about the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s also the time of the year that we remind people to remember the “reason for the season.” We talk about how Christmas has been commercialized and how Christ has been removed from the “holiday season”. This is all great stuff, and we need to remember this stuff, but I think there is more.

My time here in Africa has reminded me of the importance of our relationship with Christ. Too often, we take comfort in knowing that we have eternal life with Christ, and we forget about the relationship that we have with him now! We forget about the importance of living out our relationship with Him. We forget about sharing that relationship with others.

This Christmas season I am reminded that God sent us His Son not only so that we could live with Him when we die, but that we could live with Him while we are living! God is a big God! He loves, case for, interacts with, and provides for the people of Africa just as much as He does for us! Until I was actually able to witness that myself, I did not truly understand just how big God was. He’s HUGH, He’s Sovereign, and I get to interact with Him on a daily basis. That’s what I call a Christmas Gift!

This Christmas, will you consider opening that gift? The gift of eternal life is amazing, but don’t forget about the rest of the gift. Don’t forget that our Savior, our Creator, our coming King wants to be a part of our daily living. He loves us too much to sit back and watch us live. He wants to be active in our lives. He wants to shine through us, but we need to allow Him to.

It is my prayer that your Christmas would be filled with joy and happiness. I pray that as you gather with family you would celebrate together the birth of Jesus. As you give gifts, may you bring joy to those who receive them, and may you remember the gift of life you have received through Jesus Christ. It’s not a one time gift, but one you can open each day. May God continue to shine on you as you life for Him. Merry Christmas!