By Adam Faughn
Our world is in the hurry and bustle of the final days and hours before Christmas. Presents are being bought and wrapped, baking is being done, traveling is going on, and all sorts of other late-minute things are being completed so the holiday can be enjoyed by as many as possible.
In the midst of all that preparation, many are also focusing on the birth of Jesus Christ. Certainly, we do not know the date on the calendar on which Jesus was born, but so many in our world are thinking about that event this time of year that it is to our advantage to speak even more openly and boldly about our faith. There is, in some ways, a clearer pathway to speak to people about Jesus when they are thinking about His birth during this time.
What is difficult to get across to people, though, is that the baby in the manger grew up. Then, when that same baby was a man, He demanded so much of people and said things that are not always popular in our world. He told us that we have to guard our heart, or we are guilty of the most heinous of sins (see Matthew 5:23; 5:28; 5:44). He told us that families would be torn apart for following Him (Matthew 10:34-37). He made it clear that there is only one way to heaven (Matthew 7:13-14), and that only following Him would be that way (John 14:6).
Ultimately, Jesus gave His life on the cross, but also demanded that we be willing to take up a cross each day, that we live in order to follow Him (Luke 9:23). Part of the life and teachings of Jesus is simply not what people want to hear, but we dare not shy away from the entirety of Who Jesus was (and is), and what He demands of people if they would be counted faithful and live eternally with Him in heaven.
While so many are thinking about the baby Jesus in the manger, may we have the boldness to take this opportunity to boldly, yet lovingly, remind people that He grew up and that He is to be the Lord of all our lives. But we must also take every opportunity to show and remind people that following Him as Lord is not drudgery, but joy.
- Adam Faughn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org Visit the Faughn Family blog, A Legacy of Faith.