It’s cancelled.

Seems to be a common phrase we hear with increasing frequency. From plays, performances, games, and other in-person events, all are receiving a similar treatment.

Cancelled.

COVID-19 has disrupted much of what we would have called normal. And wherever you land on this issue (and I’m not getting into a discussion/debate) I think everyone can agree that there are two real sides — a very real physical danger and a very real mental danger. And we must navigate the tension between the two.

So, can I offer just a bit of guidance as you navigate December in light of what we are all living through? I’m taking your continued reading to be a yes.

Don’t be a captive to cancelled.

The word itself has such a negative feel to it. It’s a planned event, usually something that has been looked forward to, being announced it will no longer happen. It just feels, well, depressing. The word seems to take on a power that can hold you and I captive. We might feel as though we can’t plan anything because it might be…

I’m not even gonna say it, err, write it.

But what if there’s a different perspective? Wouldn’t that change things? What if our perspective shifted, our paradigm changed? What if we weren’t held captive by cancelled but captivated by what could be instead?

That changes things, doesn’t it?

Here’s a thought…Christmas is not cancelled. I don’t care what pandemic hits the world, it cannot cancel the celebration of the birth of Jesus, my Savior, your Savior.

Herod tried to cancel it by ordering a hit on all baby boys. He failed. And he’s not the only one.

  • The Pharisees tried to shut Jesus up. They failed.
  • Satan tried to tempt Jesus. He failed.
  • Hell tried to keep Jesus there. They all failed.

Christmas is not cancelled. So, what if our perspective shifted, and we weren’t held captive by cancelled by were captivated by what could be instead?

What if we found creative ways to do things differently? What if we discovered a new tradition? What if we discovered something new about someone in our family? And what if we discovered something new about Jesus?

You see, when we do something different, by default, we see different. We feel different. We get out of the “what we’ve always done” and we are into “what we’ve never done”. And that always leads to new experiences.

So, take a moment today to first remind yourself that Christmas isn’t cancelled. Remind yourself that you are not a captive to cancelled, but are captivated by what could be. Remind yourself of just how amazing Jesus is. I mean, hell couldn’t hold him. COVID doesn’t stand a chance against Jesus.

What can you do different with your family this year that you’ve never done in the past to celebrate the birth of our Savior? This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or be some elaborate plan. Sometimes the most profound of gifts come in the simplest packages.

Let me end this brief post with just a lesson I picked up from teaching the kids Sunday morning. It’s out of a verse of prophecy from Isaiah. Israel has had a hard way to go. Mostly because of their poor choices. But hope is something that Isaiah still prophesies to them, and to us today.

For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NASB

This verse has four occurrences of the word will. Isaiah didn’t write “maybe”, or “possibly”. He wrote “will”.

These are promises.

God has promised you a Savior whose name is Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace.

I don’t know about you, but I need that encouragement. I need those promises. I not only need them, I have to apply them. I can’t just know ‘em — I have to live ‘em.

In light of that verse, I can confidently move forward not a captive of cancelled, but captivated by what Jesus can do in this season of celebration.

And so can you.

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