During this time of year, I thank God that the gospel is more than sentimental. That the gospel of Christ—born, living, crucified, and risen for sinners like me–is true, in the truest sense, and that its power and effectiveness is not in “all the feels” it gives, but it is powerful and effective in itself, as God works through it to display his glorious grace and turn wayward sinners back to himself.

I thank God that we have something more than the shallow well of cuteness from which to mine the resources for our sermons and songs, devotions and prayers. That we have as ours to behold, now and throughout the year, “the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:33).

I thank God that the effectiveness of our church gatherings does not depend on how creative our production, powerful our music, smooth our transitions, cute our pageants, “christmasy” our decorations, or the like, but on the people of God beholding the glory of God through the word of God–proclaimed, sung, confessed.  

I thank God for a church that knows this, and hungers for something more than sentimentality: to behold “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).