Tis the season for preachers to begin reminding churches that we need to get our Christmas heads out of our Christmas butts and spend the holiday sharing the love of Christ with others, concentrating on what He deems important and not getting swept away in consumerism and umpteen trips to Target.

Count me in. When I read yesterday that rock hero Bob Geldof was ashamed of his contributions “Do They Know It’s Christmas” and “We Are The World” because they have become signposts of change that hasn’t occurred more than change that has, I was saddened. No sickened. Geldof help lead a wave of music industry support for impoverished nations in a way that was truly inspirational.

Sure the songs sucked but these catchy ditties encouraged-no-forced all of us to pay attention to ideas, concepts, concerns outside of our safe American boxes. I remember the year a group of us teenagers went with a church team to feed the homeless at Salvation Army in Hollywood: a Christmas I’ll never forget.

That’s the point isn’t it? Not forgetting? Years ago when asked by Oprah Winfrey about her incredible success in light of aging, if there comes a point when she’s achieved enough, Bette Midler said, “Absolutely. With it being enough, you make yourself crazy, striving always for more, better.”

I guess when it comes to saving humanity it’s always going to be never enough and ignoring that reality is not only blatant denial, but maybe sin as well. For if sin is something we do separate ourselves from God, how much more distant can we get than by blocking out Christ’s words in His great commission to reach the world with the Gospel?

I can hear someone saying, “Gee Pais, do you ever take a day off? It’s Christmas!” To that I humbly respond: I’ve taken enough days off for one lifetime and since there will be mandatory days off (sick days, family days, irresponsible jerk/sinner days) , I’ll plan most of my days off 60 years from now when I have all eternity to rest.

I’m not religious and I’m not driven to the point of madness. This is just a strange combination of passion, obedience and concern that has built up over a lifetime of hit and miss struggle. Now I have a chance to face my demons (and yours, dear ones) head on and maybe make a dent in the scheme of things.

I plan to love my family this Christmas. Just not to the point of distraction. They need to know that God loves them, sent Jesus to die for them and that they need to live for Him more than they need the latest techno-fad. In the end I am convinced they’ll know that I love them as well.

Sounds like a Christmas merry to me.

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