Josh Ryan, Worship Pastor of ICC, Sheds Light on the Importance of Christmas
EAST NORTHPORT, NY. December 10, 2015: Christmas is right around the corner and Island Christian Church, a Long Island Evangelical church with campuses in East Northport, Port Jefferson, and Holbrook, discusses what it means to “Magnify” Christmas. Josh Ryan, Worship Pastor of ICC, sheds light on the importance of Christmas:
“I’m sure that you agree with me when I say that joy is usually synonymous with the Christmas season. Yet, every year, I have to make an intentional decision. I must choose between focusing on the stress or to magnify the best of what Christmas truly means. This experience is called “magnification”.
Let me explain: if I looked though a magnifying glass lens to view a single, fragile snowflake, I would probably marvel at the beautiful detail that I had never quite noticed before. In spite of my senses, the object has never actually changed size but is made much clearer than before. Magnification can be a powerful choice to see the details that is hidden by an unfocused view. So if I focus my attention to the details of my problems, they seem daunting and unmanageable. Fortunately, the opposite is true too and has been the vital to me.
“In order to shrink my problems, I must ‘Magnify’ the solution.” We sometimes magnify our problems and worries, seeing every little detail of what we cannot control anyway. In the Bible, the term magnification is used to describe “to worship God”. Jesus is the ultimate source of which joy and peace are born and choosing to focus on Him will actually inspire you to magnify Him. That is the challenge at Christmas and it is the meaning of Christmas. The Scriptures are clear, Jesus came to save sinners. That is the meaning of Christmas.
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11).
The Christmas season, often referred to as “Advent” is defined as “the arrival of a notable person or thing.” It’s a good reminder that the only gift giving on this first “Christmas” was for Jesus alone. The true meaning of Christmas is about giving our worship to God and magnifying Him. What does that mean? It means taking time to give honor where honor is due. Find ways to bless God this Christmas, such as praying, worshipping, and reading the bible with your family and friends.
Ask yourself this question … “what do I love most about Christmas?” I hope that your answer is Jesus. The prophet Isaiah, some seven hundred years ago said this about the coming Messiah:
“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon[d] his shoulder,
and his name shall be called[e]
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9: 6-7)
The worship you give, clarifies your view of the God that has always been there. The more you magnify Him the more real he becomes. I encourage you to magnify Jesus in all that you do this Christmas. It just may make your Christmas that much clearer, meaningful and worshipful.”
The community at Island Christian Church is pursuing the kind of church life set forth in Scripture. The foundations of this church are Spirit-led worship, relevant teaching, authentic relationships, unceasing prayer and compassionate provision for the needy. We hope you will join us as we strive to demonstrate a compelling faith that will touch the lives of individuals within our larger communities.
Contact Rev. Joseph Garofalo for information about Island Christian Church.