He was despised and rejectedby men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted withgrief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3
I can hear this passage loud and clear in my head as played on one of my favorite Christmas albums. In fact, it's what I began hearing as I was considering today's post. It's a somber passage, but one filled with great hope and promise, reverence and awe. We need some of that, don't you think?
I saw a cartoon on social media of a little guy holding up his heart to Jesus saying, "All I have is my heart."
Jesus replied, "It's all I want."
What are you giving Jesus this Christmas? It's a strange question. I know, but not really. How are you honoring him?
This is one of those two times in a year, when church attendance will be higher than usual. Whether it's guilt, obligation or sheer tradition, souls will turn out for services especially on Christmas Eve and the surrounding Sundays. Why is that you think?
I think it's because there is a holy reverence surrounding the birth of Christ, whether you attend church regularly, are a "practicing" Christian or simply claim to be one. We all sense it and know feel drawn to celebrate the Savior's birth in some way.
May I suggest that attending church is awesome and something I pray you're all doing regularly. I hope every church in all the world experiences overflowing crowds this Christmas and beyond. I am a huge proponent of the church. "Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her," (Ephesians 5:25). I love Christ's flawed bride. But attending church isn't the best way we can honor the Lord. It's certainly one way, but not the best.
The best way to honor him is by giving him our hearts.
Now please don't get weirded out in your doctrinal thinking and write me off as weird. I just think we can yield our hearts to the Lord daily. Certainly we gave him our hearts when we received him, but how often do we walk around in our stuff, dealing with life and our hearts are far from him? That's what I'm talking about - yielding to him anew, every moment, of every day.
So much of what we do, who we are, and how we act is born in the heart. What better way to honor the Lord than by getting ourselves in line with him and giving him our hearts. It's the gift he wants most of all.
Jesus, I yield my heart to you. It's all I really have to offer of any significance. May you be honored and may this gift bring you pleasure.