Last Friday, Steph and I went to the Columbus Symphony. We had a great time listening and watching this “Holiday Pops” concert. Before we went to the concert, I was curious as to what the content would be like – would it be all Santa songs with the odd Christmas Carol thrown in, or would Jesus actually have a place in the concert? To my great delight, there were several Christmas carols, including many of the classics that celebrate the birth of our Savior. There was actually a portion of the concern where the audience was invited to sing along as the symphony orchestra performed Christmas carols. Here, in the middle of this “Holiday Pops” Christmas concert, we were having a mini worship service! What a thrill to sing praises to our King as these incredible musicians were performing! But that was pretty much the only exposure that Jesus would get as Santa soon became the focus of the night. As the concert progressed, it occurred to me that there was something very ironic about this event. We are now in the season of Advent where we celebrate the coming of the Christ. Without Jesus, there would be no Christmas, but yet at this “Holiday Pops” concert, aside from the carols and songs we sang and listened to, the word “Christmas” was not even used, not to mention the name “Jesus.” Is it just me, or is there something seriously wrong with this picture? Every time we talked to someone working at the theatre, they were very friendly, but instead of Merry Christmas, they made sure to tell us Happy Holidays. Friends, I realize that this trend is nothing new and it is fast becoming the norm in our culture, but it really bothers me that Christ is being pushed out of Christmas. As I reflected on this, however, I realized that this is not just taking place at Christmastime. As humans, we are constantly trying to push Jesus out of our lives. Our Heavenly Father wants us to have the “life” that only Jesus can give us, but we constantly push Jesus out of our lives because we are threatened by Him. To have the life of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit can be a scary thing for us. Why? Because it means that radical transformation in our lives must take place. If Jesus moves in, a lot ugly crud in us has to move out. The amazing thing is that when we do start to seek after Christ and stop pushing Him out of our lives, we are pleasantly surprised to find that He can manage our lives a lot better than we can. This Christmas, I want to encourage you to stop pushing Jesus out of your life and start living to exalt Christ in everything. Let Him give you His life and commit yourself to being his disciple. I guarantee you that you will never regret it. O, and by the way, Merry Christmas!

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