How much our world changes when we develop fresh relationships. Relationship changes everything. Fresh relationships bring joy and a willingness to change, forgiveness and hope. A stale relationship does not. Think about the couple who have just started dating verses the couple who have gotten stuck in a rut, or even fallen out of love.
The way in which we approach Christmas is impacted by our relationships.
Our service to others at Christmas can be a joy or a chore. We can revel in the memory moments we create that others will never forget. When our relationships are misaligned, we can equally become exhausted in trying to please people. We can gift people a moment of hope, or we can become stressed in trying to make the season perfect. Its intriguing to be watch people out of relationships trying to impress each other with impossible perfection.
Christmas can be a celebration or frustration depending on our relationship with God. An act of worship based in adoration and devotion is a reminder and discovery of great faithfulness. A service without the same relational value becomes an inconvenience. Spending time with God’s people is a source of refreshment when we are in relationship with God. Without such relationship our community becomes a struggle.
We cannot afford to be distracted and cover our lack of relationship with other things. The less connected we are the more “perfect” we try to be. Ultimately loveless religious duty takes over and people become rule keepers.
The prophets cry out to God’s people and urges them to give their hearts to God, not just their service. In Jesus time, the religious rulers had become the epitome of religion without relationship.
Christmas really is God’s declaration of a desire to have relationship with us.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.