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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Reason for the Season of Christmas (12/04/08)

TITLE: Warning: Difficult Times Ahead
By Catrina Bradley
12/10/08


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“…in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.”
2 Timothy 3:1-2 NLT



My observations of the Christmas season in recent years have driven home my assurance that we are, indeed, experiencing “the last days”. The heart and core of the event we celebrate on December 25, the birth of the Savior of the world, is love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16)

Christmas is the most opportune time of the year to share the perfect love He has given us with others. Unfortunately, I see the trend increasingly moving toward people becoming lovers of themselves and their money. Instead of carefully choosing or lovingly crafting just the right gift, the emphasis is placed upon spending an appropriate amount of money so the receiver won’t think we’re “cheap”. The saying “it’s the thought that counts” has become a clichéd joke. It’s the price tag that counts.

I have heard children AND adults whine about the gifts they didn’t receive, with hardly a “thank you” offered for what they were given. I have witnessed children running rampant in public and at family gatherings. Parents no longer discipline their children; instead they give warning after warning with no follow through to the promised consequences. Manners have gone the way of the steam engine. Ungrateful? Check. Disobedient? Check.

On December 26, Jesus is packed away with the ornaments and blinking lights, forgotten, until Thanksgiving rolls around and we take Him out and show Him off again. But it seems that each year, more and more bulbs have burnt out, and His light into the world grows dimmer. The days following Christmas are spent showing off our new possessions, being “boastful and proud” of what we have acquired. We may not literally scoff at God with our words, but our actions speak loud and clear.

The world is gradually replacing Christmas with a generic “holiday”, and the new “reason for the season” might easily be boiled down into one word: self.

“In the last days…they will consider nothing sacred.”

Not even Christ.

Lord Jesus, come quickly.


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This article has been read 715 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Gregory Kane12/13/08
As we spend a few months back in the UK, I can certainly resonate with the sentiments expressed here. But the good news is that it's not all doom and gloom in the rest of the world. The church in the northern hemisphere may be becoming atrophied in some parts but in many cases the church in the southern hemisphere is exploding as never before. That's not to say that everyone is experiencing revival, but there's a definite turning away from sin and darkness and a glorious embracing of the light. Indeed come, Lord Jesus.
Joanne Sher 12/15/08
I absolutely agree with this. No critique I can think of. Excellent points made with excellent examples. So sad.
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/16/08
This is truly a sad commentary on the world we live in. The paragraph about putting Jesus away with the Christmas ornaments was particularly effective.
Carole Robishaw 12/16/08
I can't think of a word to add. You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. Yes, Lord Jesus, come quickly.
Teresa Lee Rainey12/16/08
On my computer, something happened with odd symbols on this entry. Still, reading past that, I hurt for those who have this kind of Christmas. You brought out that emotion very well.

Thankfully, it's not like this everywhere. While I see some of what you have described, I am blessed with many around me who truly celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

Even so, Lord Jesus, come. Amen!
Karlene Jacobsen 12/16/08
AMEN! I can not critique. The message is loud and clear.
Leah Nichols 12/17/08
Thank you for this thoughtful nonfiction piece. You are quite right, and I agree - no critique needed! I pray that God will awaken His Church!
Pamela Kliewer12/17/08
Ouch. Thank you.

I had the strange symbols too...
Sonya Leigh12/17/08
I love your imagery here, "But it seems that each year, more and more bulbs have burnt out, and His light into the world grows dimmer." This is true for unbelievers in today's world...there is no code of conduct left in our society, only relativism and pluralism. But thanks be to God, in such a dark world, the Christian's light burns all the brighter. That's You. You are obviously different, Catrina...that's why you notice; that's why you care.
Peter Stone12/17/08
I too have noticed such trends, where people are more interested in what they get rather than in the act of giving. And as our society continues to reject Jesus and focus on anything but Him, I too lately have been saying 'Maranatha, come quickly, Lord Jesus.' (ps, you can probably stop such formatting things happening if you paste the Bible verses into Notebook first, and then from there into your doc.)
Jan Ackerson 12/17/08
Good job, Catrina! A very sobering devotional.
Sara Harricharan 12/19/08
Wow. This is powerful. Excellent point.