During this holiday season, we spend a lot of time running around trying to find the right gifts for the people we love. Hopefully, many of you don’t operate like I do during this time, but traditionally I wait until a few days before Christmas to do my shopping. Every year I find myself in panic mode. Things are already hectic enough and I only exacerbate the problem by waiting until the last minute.
So, I found myself doing some shopping this past weekend so I could get a jump start on my typical routine and like most stores around this area, they were PACKED!! I consider myself to be a pretty patient person, but the crowded aisles and people pushing by each other without being polite was starting to frustrate me to the point where I was ready to abandon my cart in the middle aisle and just walk right out the door.
As I was standing in the aisle waiting for a cart to clear the corner so they wouldn’t play bumper cars with mine, I felt a sense of calm come over me. One can say that it was just a physiological response, but I like to believe that it was the Holy Spirit quieting my flesh. It wasn’t but a mere moment in which this occurred, but it was enough that I was able to take a step back and refocus and think “What do I want people to see?”
I wasn’t so much concerned about my appearance and how people viewed who I was in the tangible, but I was cognizant of my responsibility to represent Christ well; even if the random stranger wouldn’t know one way or another if I was a Christ-follower from just looking at me. In fact, it didn’t matter that they didn’t know I was a Christian, but I knew, and that was enough. As believers in Christ, we are called to represent Him by going into our world of influence with “tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12). May we remember: “whatever we do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17).
The Bible says in Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us.”
He goes before you. He is behind you. He stands next to you. Where you go, He goes. Whatever it is you find yourself doing or wherever it is you find yourself going, may you understand the power and the responsibility of representing the One you carry with you no matter where you end up.
Christmas is the time where we celebrate the advent of Christ. He came to the earth to fix what was broken and restore things back to what was intended – relationship with God. Yes, that means He even came to fix my “emotions” this during this holiday season. He came to restore those estranged relationships with family members and friends. He came to dwell among us and now within us. He came to teach us how to represent him to the world.
May I encourage you and remind you to represent Christ well this holiday season? Maybe you have some last minute shopping to do before Christmas day or maybe some of you are dreading “those relatives” with whom you have to spend the holidays with again this year.
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” (Matthew 2:10)
Be joyful. Be gentle. Be patient. Be calm. Be kind. You never know who needs to see Jesus in you this year.