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You’re Speaking My Language

Pastor Jonathan Social

As I sit here on November 10 writing this article about Christmas we haven’t even celebrated Thanksgiving yet. It is 76 degrees today…in Michigan! This has definitely been the longest, most beautiful Fall our family has experienced here in the last 6 years. And before you ask, it definitely feels more like Florida today. I’m sure as you read this that has all changed and winter has made its appearance.

There are many wonderful things about winter and one of them is the time we enjoy celebrating Christmas. But some of you may not like winter and others may not even like Christmas (though I doubt you’ve said it out loud). Most of us don’t like the over-commercialization and busyness of the season but we also grow tired of talking about that every year too. We could go on and on about things we don’t like if we wanted to be grinches about it all.

But how much greater can we honor the Lord and build up people when we focus on the joys that unite us. The bright coming of Christ into our dark and broken world means we have reason for hope. That hope can be demonstrated in how we face a variety of difficult circumstances. Victor Frankl, the legendary Holocaust survivor, wrote Man's Search For Meaning. He said, some people held onto the hope of surviving and being set free. But Mr. Frankl also saw the change in prisoners who had lost that hope. Nothing could motivate them, and they eventually died. But Mr. Frankl chose to hope in something not of this world so it could not be taken away. He said, Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way (in how he approaches his circumstances).

That quote spoke to me because I have the opportunity every day to choose my attitude but too often I let my attitude be dictated by my circumstances. Christmas is our opportunity to be reminded how the incarnation of the Son of God redefined reality. Jesus was a have-not who possessed everything. He was a servant who ruled all. He loved all but was rejected by most. He is God in human form. He lived a perfect life but died a criminal’s death then rose again. Jesus never allowed his circumstances to dictate his attitude. Instead, His godly attitude influenced his circumstances and He continues influencing us.

Jesus understands our hearts and he knows our deepest needs. He has equipped us by His Word and Spirit with everything we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). Though He ascended back to the Father’s right hand, He still walks with us by His Spirit on every step of our journey home… every exciting peak, every painful valley, and even the plain plains. So as you meet others wherever you are this Christmas season, will the attitude of hope in Christ influence those around you or will the hustle and bustle influence you? Jesus meets us exactly where we are so we can meet others where they are and speak their language that they may know eternal hope in Christ.