My Takeaways from Christmas 2016

Amazingly, Christmas is now behind us, and as with all other years we now have to look to the future (and eat less!).

Here are some of my takeaways for Christmas this year.

First, I need Christmas. This is what I mean: I need the hope of Christmas and the joy of Christmas. I need a time when I wish people a merry Christmas and give gifts.

I also need to focus on the events of the past (what really happened at the first Christmas) and what it means in the present. I think our sermon series on “Christmas: What It Means” from John 1 was good for me.

Second, we have to have families. Christmas provides a time for families to be together. We need that time.

God created the family. It is the basic institution of society. We have to do everything to build up the family. Christmas helps us do that as well.

Christmas gives us a good picture of the family. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus show us real people dealing with real issues and blessing other people through it.

Life was not easy for Joseph and Mary; it’s not easy for us either.

Third, God knew what He was doing when He created the church. It’s easy to dismiss the church; people have been doing it for centuries. But the church is God’s plan and God’s way to build for Himself a people.

This Christmas I saw again the church at work–at work in the lives of broken hearts and broken people. I saw compassion, ministry, and action toward the hurt and needs of other people.

I thank God for the church. What a joy it was to worship with other families and the family of God this Christmas.

Finally, we can’t live in Christmas. We have to move on and live every day for God and His glory. This day where we go back to work and start thinking about the needs of this day will be demanding and encouraging for us.

God made us to live in the present with its demands and difficulties. Christmas will equip us to do just that.

I write a devotional for most days of the year. If you would like to receive each one in your inbox, you can sign up at waylonbailey.com or in the box below.


 

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word! — Proverbs 15:23 (NIV)