A Pastor’s Confession – Guest Post & Giveaway

Today I’m very excited to have my brother-in-law guest posting here. David Megill pastors in New Mexico and has recently published the book, The Hidden Life: Finding out why you matter. It is an AMAZING book, very poignant, very challenging, very encouraging, very hopeful. After his post I’ll be offering a giveaway of the paperback version of his book from Amazon, so be sure to enter and share it!

A Pastor’s Confession

I love Christmas.

Of course, being a Christian I do love most of all what it means in that context. The coming of Christ is truly the most startling and amazing thing in all of human history. As a demonstration of a loving God, there is no parallel; as a demonstration of an almighty God, it shows an astounding power for a transcendent God, a God beyond time and space, to be able to drop into humanity at a chosen time and place.

But as a pastor, I have a confession.

  • I love Rudolph.
  • And Santa, and the Grinch..
  • And little Cindy Lou Hoo, too.

I love the way other people love Christmas. I love the sometimes irrational, depthless way people decide to be nice to each other on Christmas.

I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come around—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving charitable pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.–Scrooge’s Nephew, Fred

  • I love the Christmas Carol.
  • I love Christmas Carols too. I love the way people are singing praises to our Lord without even knowing it; big name stars singing worship music because it’s Christmas.
  • I love Christmas movies, and Christmas cookies. I love the way Starbucks will sell you the same cookie they had a week ago, but now it looks like a polar bear.
  • I love those polar bears we see on the Coke commercials this time of year too and the way Coke tries to corner the market on peace and harmony every year at this time too.

Such desperate attempts to find replacement reasons for the season are undoubtedly shallow and a little sad, but I love it.

I love it all because while we worry that Christmas is losing it’s meaning, the average American is desperately looking for that meaning. They look for it in family, music, gifts, special shows, special music, specialness. They look for it not because they are shallow but because they are not. They look in shallow places only because they don’t know where else to look.

I love it because this once a year, naturalistic people are free to remember that some things go beyond scientific proof: Santa Claus or Rudolph, an irrational desire to be good or nice, the pretense that food is without calories for one month of the year. All this really reminds those of us who know the truth that what we know is good. We remember again that what they want we have, and what they seek we can freely reveal. We remember that we are not mean or arrogant or controlling to want to teach them the truth of the Gospel. And for a brief window, we may find them actually willing to think about God as a baby in a manger.

I love Christmas because hiding behind every shallow attempt at Merry is one who was born of Mary.

I recently wrote my first book based on a a similar conviction to the one expressed in this Christmas blog. People love Christmas because something amazing is hidden in it. Similarly we are obsessed with stories, with finding beauty, sense and order in the events of our life because there is hidden behind it all a perfect story of the universe. People call this story different things, truth, love, beauty… Scripture calls it life. Believers and non-believers alike struggle with and search for life. We look in the wrong place in the wrong ways, and settle for truly miserable stories at times. According to scripture though, even though it is hidden from view, the real story of the universe is there, and life really is available. That’s why I wrote the Hidden Life. I hope it encourages, blesses and amuses you all at once.

Enter for a chance to win a personally signed paperback copy of David‘s book: The Hidden Life. Enter using Rafflecopter below. Come back every day and tweet for an additional entry.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogs I might be linking to:
Menu Planning Monday, On The Menu Monday, Erin Branscoms, Marital Oneness, The Better Mom, Multitudes on Monday, Hear it On Sunday, Sharing His Bounty, What Joy Is Mine, Playdates at the Well, Back to School Monday, Domestically Divine Tuesdays, Time Warp Wife, Funky Planet Frequent Flier Club, Encourage One Another, Living Well Wednesdays, What’s Up Wednesday, Walking Redeemed, Legacy Leaver Thursday, Thought Provoking Thursday, Hearts 4 Home, Thankful Thursday, First Day of My Life , Thankful Thursdays, Thankful, Thankful Thursday Brown-eyed Bell(e), Big Family Fridays, Faith Filled Fridays, Feasting In Fellowship Friday, Homemaking Link-up Week-end, A Little R&R

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  1. I love Christmas too but sometimes get frustrated at the shallowness of it. Thanks for the reminder that those yearning for the peacefulness and love of this time of year, they are yearning for the one who it about. Jesus. Helps put perspective on it!

    • Hey Susie, thanks for your comment. I left you a reply in the general comments before I realized I could do it here. Just wanted you to know.

  2. What a wonderful post! I love this article and I would love a chance to receive the book. I’m putting my name in now!

    • Hey Terri , thanks for your comment. I left you a reply in the general comments before I realized I could do it here. Just wanted you to know.

  3. Thank you for sharing….love David’s thoughts! Insightful!

    • Hey Cathy, thanks for your comment. I left you a reply in the general comments before I realized I could do it here. Just wanted you to know.

  4. Once again, you hit the nail right on the head. I bought your ebook. But I’d love to be able to give this in a stocking this year!

    • Hey Sharmen , thanks for your comment. I left you a reply in the general comments before I realized I could do it here. Just wanted you to know.

  5. Susie, I can certainly understand tha frustration and some people are intentionally unwilling to look at real questions, but as you say it helps to gain perspective. Ironically I often find unbeleivers think we are shallow using a doctrine to avoid thinking about deep questions. They are wrong of course, but it does help me to remember that I’m often wrong when I assume they are equally uninterested In the most important questions.

    Terri and Cathy, thanks for your kind words. I just may have to post those as blurbs on my next book. “wonderful” and “insightful”. (I’m just kidding of course.:-). I’m so glad that It resonated with you and I hope you both win the book! (my math ain’t so good).

    Sharmen, good to “see you” so to speak. If this is your first visit to Kate’s blog you should bookmark it and visit frequently. You will be blessed by it. And thanks for buying the ebook. If you don’t win the book, you might be able to buy one locally at a small discount off the amazon price. Let me know.

  6. Great reminder to love the people, even when we don’t understand their actions. They are all looking for the same thing, the Christ in Christmas. Some just don’t know what it really takes to fill that “G0d-shaped hole in their heart”.

    • Lonnie, that’s exactly right. One of the things I notice about Jesus in the gospels is how respectfully he treats “in spiritual people”. He tends to believe the earnestness of their search no matter how shallowly approached. . Being God, he of course knows the heart and sometimes dismisses super religious people for their shallowness, but not generally his approach. Notice pascal mention btw. 🙂

      • oops that should have been “unspiritual people” and “Nice Pascal mention…” Sorry about that. Not yet perfect at my iPad typing. 🙂

  7. I’ve really enjoyed reading your brother in law’s thoughts on Christmas and would love to read more of what he writes.

    • Barb, thanks so much for taking the time to read this and i would love to hear any thoughts you have on anything else I’ve written. Thanks again!

  8. “They look for it not because they are shallow but because they are not. They look in shallow places only because they don’t know where else to look.” That is excellent! Such a great reminder be to even more bold in our faith during this season.

    • Heather, thanks for reading carefully and taking the time to let me know what you liked. You are right! Bold and respectful can go had in hand when we assume they are as interested in truth as we are. God has put eternity in the earts of man, right?

  9. Thank you for sharing this giveaway. I’d love to read this

    • Rondah,

      After you read it, I’d love to hear any thoughts you have about it. Questions, encouragements, concerns, anything! Never hesitate to email. Also if you have any trouble finding or getting the book for any reason (It’s on amazon) , just let me know.

  10. Bravo! Wonderful thoughts here, friend. I love thinking that each person who loves Christmas is living out that knowledge of God that is there inside each one of us.

    • Laura,

      Thanks so much for your gracious words. My thoughts are not always wonderful 🙂 so It’s nice to hear when someone thinks they were. I am glad the post encouraged you!

  11. He should seriously meet my dad. The two could rival each other’s love for Christmas. 🙂 Honestly, though – I love this post. I love every single bit of it. I love how your brother is not afraid to love Christmas, he’s not over-thinking things…how open his heart is and how “childlike” his approach is. Thank you for linking this post up. It is truly enjoyable to read!

    • I would love to meet your dad! Thanks so much for your kind words. I am glad you were encouraged by the post.