After Christmas is the best part

The idea of Christmas presents, a baby being born, and singing carols is traditional and pleasant. But for so many it really does end there.
Dec. 27, 2021 - PRLog -- When I was in Navy boot camp, we had an Easter service in a large drill hall. None of us were thinking about Christmas. All the recruits at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center were lined up by company. Hundreds of young men standing at ease as the Navy chaplain began his sermon.

I will never forget how he began. It's as vivid now as it was when I heard it. "Now here it is Easter," he grumbled, making it sounded like he'd much rather be somewhere else. "Most of you guys haven't been near a church since Christmas, so how the hell are you supposed to know anything about Easter."

That's what he said. I really cannot tell you one word that followed because I immediately turned him off. If that's the way God is going to talk to me, why bother? A couple of years later, I heard the message of the Bible from friends and a truly remarkable pastor. They got my attention.

As the years passed, I thought about what that chaplain had said. Although I completely disagree with his choice of words and his entire approach, the fact that many people go to church only on Christmas and Easter is worth thinking about and writing about.

The guy wasn't entirely wrong. The Christian faith sounds nice when we hear about the birth of Jesus and learn of His remarkable life here on earth. The whole idea of Christmas presents, a baby being born, and singing carols is traditional and pleasant. But for so many it really does end there because they have not yet explored their faith. That process is called discipleship and simply stated it's just learning the Bible.

Learning what's in the Bible is discipleship

Think of discipleship this way—you receive a piano keyboard for Christmas, with an instruction book, but you never play it. Maybe you tinker a little, but you never learn how to play. You tell yourself it's because the piano isn't for you.

Many Christian believers get that wonderful, initial taste of the faith but never go farther. My wife and I went to one of those mega churches. The place sat 7600 people. They had over 10,000 members. The pastor's sermon that day was about how they brought people into the faith, but they did a poor job in discipleship. People became "Christians" but they weren't growing in the faith, there was no discipleship.

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