2 Corinthians 6:12-13 (The Message)
Monday, December 23, 2013
Don’t let small things crowd out Jesus
Last-minute shopping – one of many pressures
2 Cor. 6:12-13 (TM) The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!
IT’S THAT time of year – when the ‘musts’ and ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ come barging in in their threatening way and crowding out what is more timid, but more important in our lives.
There are last-minute presents to get and to wrap, cards to send to people who have (perhaps unexpectedly) sent cards to you, and a few more of those and a bit extra of this to find room for in an already-groaning fridge. There’s the car to fill up in case garages are not open, those newsletters people send demanding attention and elderly friends and relatives who need a little bit more care at this time of year. There are meals to plan and some baking to do in readiness. Where does all the time go?
And that’s the point, really. It’s living lives in a small way. It’s the tyranny of the urgent.
What is Christmas about? Whatever you think of its pagan origins, it is about knowing God through His Son who came to earth as one of us. For some of us, it is about remaking that connection.
For others, about knowing Him better. Maybe there are some New Year resolutions in the mix about being a better disciple, walking with Him more closely, or dare I say, building community with others and making your home group a priority rather than an add-on.
Christmas in our culture is also a time of community, of having a bit of time for a nod and a smile or more, a drink at the pub or a mince pie in a home, visiting with people as (loosely) God visited with us in a special event that we remember at this time of year. God was generous and gracious to us, so we reflect that in being generous and gracious to others – including those with whom the relationship is not so easy, or those we don’t know personally but who don’t have what we have. Making a difference to the poor, the disadvantages, the rejected or the lonely must be part of celebrating a generous and gracious God.
The problem is that these ‘living expansively’ dimensions get squeezed by all the the ‘living in a small way’ urgencies that insist on being met. Those who are poor and those who are poor in spirit get their look in after those ‘cultural priorities’ that make themselves so important.
The innkeeper goes down in history as the one who couldn’t make room for Jesus. We have charge of our domain, and what we make room for — our priorities or His.
Paul’s appeal continues with the “make room in your hearts” phrase in 2 Cor. 7:2. Fight off the small and worldly stuff this Christmas and make room for Jesus in your heart – however that may be played out.