I looked around my house as it was freshly decorated for Christmas, and I realized how much we physically rearrange in celebration. Our love seat is pushed over to make room for the Christmas tree, a table is moved to make space for our Family Tree of Christ (thanks, Tiny Theologians!), and my usual welcome mat has been traded for a Christmas-themed one. Though these are small things, this physical rearranging we do in the name of Christmas reminded me of the life and heart rearranging we should do in the name of Christ.
We see this in Scripture, people encounter the one true God, and they rearrange their lives. Isaiah responded, “Here am I! Send me!” after seeing that God is holy, holy, holy (Is. 6:1-8). Jesus said, “Follow me,” and the disciples immediately left careers and family (Matt. 4:18-22). Even Mary and Joseph’s lives were rearranged at the news of Christ, becoming parents much earlier than they planned (Luke 1:26-38). Our response should be no different. When we encounter the holy God, the Savior of the world, our lives should rearrange.
The Gospel is defined as, “Good news,” and truly, it’s the best news. In short, the Gospel is that we’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), and even just one sin separates us from a holy God. BUT, God loves us so much that he had a Rescue Plan to bring us back to him, which was Jesus. Jesus came to earth humbly as a baby, lived a perfect life, and then died on the cross. Jesus didn’t deserve this punishment, but he lovingly took on God’s wrath deserved by us, a sinful people. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, ultimately conquering Satan, sin, and death. Those who repent of their sins and accept Christ as Lord and Savior are fully forgiven and redeemed, now live with a God-given purpose, and look forward to the day of full restoration when they’ll dwell with Christ forever. Salvation is a free gift (we can do nothing to earn it), but it must be accepted. For those who don’t accept Christ, they’ll spend eternity separated from him (if you have questions about this, please reach out to someone. Your local pastor or Christian friends would love to chat about this. I would as well!).
While we can do nothing to earn or keep our salvation, encountering the Gospel should drastically change our lives. The Gospel isn’t a “get out of Hell free” card. We don’t really “get it” if we say we’ve accepted Christ, then Christ has no effect on our lives. No, when we really “get it,” we’ll want to rearrange our lives for Christ’s sake. This isn’t legalism, but simply living our lives for the One who gave his life for us. Jesus died for us, the least we can do is live for him! Jesus calls us to take up our cross and follow him (Matt. 16:24-26), and while dying to self is difficult and often a daily battle, that’s where true joy lies.
Every aspect and part of our lives should become Christ-centered after we encounter Jesus. For Jesus, we rearrange our time. Church might not fit perfectly with our child’s nap schedule, but I promise, it’s good & worth it for us to go. Reading the Word might cause us to sacrifice some “me time” or even put off laundry, but when we see the Word as absolutely necessary to living (and it is), we’ll rearrange our time for it. Even our conversations rearrange. While they might’ve once been marked by gossip or complaint, they’re now marked by grace and encouragement. For Jesus, our entertainment changes, for we know what we see and hear matters, and we’re to set our minds on things of Christ (Col. 3:2). When we “get” Christmas, we understand everything we have isn’t ours; rather, it’s a gift to us from God and for God (Ps. 67:1-2). This means we rearrange our money and to use it for things of Christ (fRadical and Counter Culture by David Platt have really good thoughts on this). We now even use our homes differently. No longer are our homes just a place for our family, or even a place to impress, but they’re now a space to love and serve others (The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield is an excellent read on this). Indeed, our friendships, parenting methods, career choices, and everything in between are rearranged when we encounter Jesus.
At Christmas, we joyfully rearrange our homes to make room for the decor, Christmas cards, and extra baking. Because of Christmas, we should joyfully rearrange our lives to make room for Jesus to be Lord and Savior of them. By the Spirit, we rearrange so that the world will know the Babe born in a manger saves. We do this so the only one on our heart’s throne is Christ the Lord. We rearrange because Christ is holy, holy, holy, and he’s so very much worthy of us dropping our nets & saying, “Here am I! Send me!”