Senior Pastor Duane Mabee's weekly Pastor's Pondering can be read here, as seen in the printed church bulletin weekly.
Get Used to Differentby Duane Mabee on December 17, 2020
To help focus our hearts and minds on the meaning of Christmas this year, Karla and I watched Christmas with the Chosen. If you aren’t familiar with The Chosen, it is an internet based, multi-season video series on the life of Christ. You might want to check it out.
In one episode, a character struggles to understand Jesus and what’s happening in her world. She clasps her hands to her head saying, “It’s all so different” to which Jesus replies “get used to different”. That line has taken on a life of its own. Mandisa has even written a song around it and it is a popular search on YouTube right now.
That line may just be Jesus’ message to the Church right now – Get used to different. It wouldn’t be the first time He told His people that. When Israel went into captivity in Babylon, God told His people to “get used to different. Pray for the peace and prosperity of the city where you now live. Settle in. Build houses. Plant gardens. You are here for a reason. I have things I want to do in you through this time,” (Jer. 29:5). Of course, you know the famous verses that comes shortly after that.
Jer. 29:11-14 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me. When you seek Me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord, (ESV).
We don’t want to get used to different. We want to go back to the way things were, but that’s not likely to happen soon. Like the people of Israel, though, God has placed us where we are for a purpose. Fighting different will not help accomplish God’s purposes in us while we’re here.
For most of us, Christmas celebrations will be quite different this year. It’s OK to grieve that a little, but don’t get stuck there. God is doing a new thing somehow. He has place us here for a purpose. He is doing something in us.
Let this time drive you to search for the heart of what’s truly important about Christmas. Much of what we will miss this year is nice, beneficial, and beautiful, but it isn’t the core of Christmas.
The core of Christmas is this: God loves you so much that He sent His one and only Son into the world so that, if you believe Him and receive Him as your Lord and Savior, you will not perish but have everlasting life with God in eternal, intimate relationship. God loves you so much that even though you may be socially distanced, He has promised, “never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you. I am with you always, even to the end of the age. I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” That’s the most important thing about Christmas.