In this week’s Epistle reading from Romans, Paul reminds us that “we know what time it is…”
We know who Christ is and why He came into this world and into our lives. Still, we hold Christ at arm’s length, never fully embracing the Way in which he calls us to live. Never fully knowing Emmanuel, God with us.
Paul goes on to encourage us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh.”
Just what does that mean for us today? How does that look? If we wore the mantel of Christ, what would others see?
I believe it is especially important to wear the mantel of Christ and Live out our Christian faith during Advent and Christmas. As Christians, we are always being watched, being judged. “Does she live up to what she says believes?” “Are his actions the actions of a Christian?” “Is he imitating Christ?”
At Christmas, and Easter, the world is watching us even more closly, judging us more harshly. That judgment falls on us and, because we are Christians, judgment of us f falls on Christ.
Paul’s call in Romans 13 is for the Church to live our beliefs, to fully live out our faith. To put on the mantel of Christ and live so others will know the joy of His love.
Beyond the commercialism of Christmas, beyond the excesses of the season, we are called to live as Christ lived. To live as models of love, peace, hope and joy. As the world hustles and bustles around you this Christmas Season, be still. Show others the joy you have in Christ by taking the time to live out the promise of Christ’s coming into this world.
Even those most cynical toward Christianity get that there is more joy in giving than getting. Show the world that the REAL JOY of Christmas comes from both getting and giving. From getting Christ’s love and giving Christ’s love. Real Joy comes from welcoming Christ into the world and into your life and then sharing the gift of Christ with others.
Gracious and loving God, give me the courage to be still as the world swirls around me. Help me find ways, simple ways, to express your love and to express the joy that comes from Your love to those around me.
We pray this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel.