“The Lord will again take delight in prospering you…when you obey the Lord your God by observing his commandments and decrees.” -Deuteronomy 30:9-10
Read Deuteronomy 30:1-10
Holidays are feast days, special days marked ahead on the calendar and including the best meats, special sides and choice beverages. Holidays are days of celebration.
Unfortunately, holi-days can morph into holi-seasons: lots of cookies; too much egg-nog; numerous dinners followed by overly rich desserts.
After a week of this, I feel icky. That extra piece of cake was a bad idea. I should have had one cookie—not six. Slowly, I realize that I developed a habit of running against the grain of how I was created to eat. Holidays morph into unhealthy living.
If we believe that we have been lovingly and intentionally formed by a creator, this also means that God has provided us with a path of life. To live with it is to be whole and healthy. To live against it is to be disintegrated and warped.
In The Divine Conspiracy Dallas Willard writes, “Saying ‘Jesus is Lord’ can mean little in practice for anyone who has to hesitate in saying ‘Jesus is smart’… he is not just nice, he is brilliant.”
Advent is a time of joy and celebration, but it’s more. Advent is a time of remembering who possesses all knowledge, who knows the way, who holds the pattern for life. To live the Jesus-pattern is to align oneself with God’s intentions. To believe in him but not to follow his ways is to operate incorrectly. Sadly, this has consequences which are much worse than putting on a few extra pounds over the holidays. We choose the Jesus way. It’s smart—and it is life!
Jesus, remind me that you were born and walked among us to show us that you are the way and that your way is the way for me.
Brian A. Ross, D.Min., Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministries,
Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary