Christmastide – paradigm for Kingdom living in 2010?

IStock_000002246369XSmall Living for the Kingdom…living in the flow of the grace and mercy of God…living a life that is obedient and passionate to the call of Jesus – for each of us who follow the Lord God, these are challenges that we humbly embrace.  Interestingly enough, we have a tendency to make this challenge and lifestyle complex and unattainable through lofty goals and unrealistic expectations.  The reason I say that is simple – I've placed those demands on my own heart and life – there have been times that I have interpreted Kingdom living in such demanding terms that I have actually demotivated and discouraged myself before I took the first step.  I've had the scriptural reading goals that have actually pulled the plug on my desire to read the bible…I've had the prayer goals that have brought me more guilt than intimacy with God…I've had the relational goals that have actually transformed the relationships I do have and enjoy into obligations.  Don't take this wrong – there's nothing wrong with objectives.  I abide by them in most every aspect of my life.  What I am saying is why not look at this issue from a different perspective…one of freedom that enhances our opportunities for faithfulness instead of poisoning it.

Put it this way – aren't we close to completing the Christmastide journey?  We are on the verge the the 12th day of Christmas – the celebration of Ephipany (if you don't understand Ephipany, click here).  Now, for the last 12 days (or more) haven't you been a bit more hospitable?  Haven't you been a bit more sensitive to the joys of this time of year?  Haven't you been more apt to greet people with love and anticipation of relationship?  Haven't you been more giving?  More understanding?  Patient?  In the "churchworld", haven't you prepared specifically for people to hear the story of God's love in the new way and fresh way?  In fact, you've probably struggled with the story because it is a familiar one – "how do we communicate the story of Jesus in a manner that someone far from God or confused about life/spiritual matters can hear it and respond?".  You know what this time of year has done to you…heres a big but obvious question, maybe more of an insight – shouldn't Christmastide be a paradigm for all of our lives in the new year?  Instead of laying new demands upon ourselves, why not just continue what we've done and how we've lived into the coming days?  Makes sense, doesn't it?  More to come…

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