For many of us the holiday season is the best part of the year. We spend time with family, eat lots of food, and give each other gifts. The feeling we get as a result is often called the "holiday spirit." It is a spirit of kindness and generosity and lavish outpouring of relational energy. It all sounds good and positive. Yet if we are honest things are not always as great as they might seem. As fun as watching endless reruns of "It’s a Wonderful Life" or "Mixed Nuts" with a steady stream of popcorn and eggnog might be, we are too often left wondering, if there is more to this time of the year than binging on food and entertainment? As charming as Kelly Clarkson’s new album "Wrapped in Red" might be, can one really drown the soul-ache that has been bubbling beneath the surface this whole year in the artificially imposed temporary spirit of happiness. Or even more honestly, can another pair of Abercrombie jeans under the tree mask the reality of a family that has been drifting apart in the last few years?
'Tis the Season...Or at least that’s what we are told. Season for what? More turkey, cheaper socks, the newest IPhone? What if it was a season for something more enduring than ALDO’s knee high riding boots? 1 Corinthians 13.13 states, "Now these three remain: faith, hope and love." These are things that last beyond the new skirt and sweater combo from H&M. Faith. Hope. Love. These three accompany us to the doorstep of eternity. They are the enduring qualities of a community that is shaped more by Jesus than Urban Outfitters. So we pause and take time as a movement to reflect together on what it means to be a people who live by faith, shaped by hope and empowered by love.