With all the hustle and bustle that we are faced with each and everyday, the holiday season compounds that times 100. From Thanksgiving Day on, we are pulled many different directions. We have multiple Thanksgiving meals, at multiple locations. Followed by the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. Some stores this year opened at 3:00 am, while some didn’t close at all. And while saving money and bargin shopping is great for your pocket book, it really got me thinking. Have we numbed ourselves to what this holiday season is all about?
Don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying that shopping for gifts is a bad thing. In fact this post is not really meant to focus on shopping at all. What it is meant to focus on is Jesus Christ and His birth. My point is this, we are so distracted with holiday parties at work, school, friends and many more. Not to mention the last minute shopping sprees. Before we know it, the season has come and gone without any regard to what we are celebrating, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Our focus, as with our everyday lives, should be on glorifying our Lord and Savior. However, as time goes by, year after year, more and more people are leaving Christ out of Christmas. More and more stores, businesses and other organizations, are dropping Merry Christmas for Happy Holidays. Christ is slowly but surely getting left behind and for what? But more importantly, why?
The for what part is pretty easy, money and to be politically correct. You know we would not want to offend anyone and say that Christ is the reason for the season. And we sure would not want to stir the pot and tell people all around us why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. Christmas gifts are great, and the glimmer on a child’s face is priceless when they open their favorite present. But Christ should always be the ultimate focus in all we do, especially when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. Put it this way, on our child’s birthday or an important loved ones birthday, the day is all about that person and celebrating, loving and cherishing what they mean to us. So should we not even do more for the one who paid the price for our sins and saved us from the pits of hell?
The why part of this is hard to accept, but we must be honest with ourselves. Christ is getting more and more left behind at Christmas because we as Christians are focusing more and more on the earthly meaning. Another words, we are conforming to the world. We are not standing for our beliefs in our everyday lives and so why should we do any different on Christmas? We need to refocus on what we have (meaning Christ in our lives) and who we are supposed to be modeling (Christ). We need to be willing to make that stand in the store or even at work or a friends “Holiday Party” and share why we celebrate Christmas. We need to be willing to sell out and proclaim what Christ has done for us. What better time to share your faith and share with others the love of Christ?
So as you continue your holiday season journey, it is my prayer that you always remember Christ is the true and ONLY reason we celebrate or have anything to celebrate. The birth of Jesus Christ is our victory beginning. Without Him, we would still be on the hook for our sins. Without His sacrifice, we would have no hope and no future, as well as, no guidance from the Holy Spirit. So as you sing your Christmas songs on the radio or at concerts this year, listen, really listen to the words and the meaning behind them. As you go about buying your gifts, remember that it is better to give then to receive. And as you see someone in need, remember to take the time to help. Let us make Christ and our Heavenly Father proud that His sacrifice was not in vain and make our Heavenly Father proud that we are His children. Let’s take Christmas back. Let’s put Christ back in Christmas. But mostly importantly, let’s remember what this season and Christmas really means. Take the time to read and share with your kids the Real Christmas Story. Explain to them what it really symbolizes and why we celebrate. Instead of watching the Miracle on 34th Street, share with them and others the Miracle on Bethleham Street. You know the story of how the virgin Mary gave birth to a baby boy in a manger. That story still holds power.
In closing, there are many things that I am thankful this holiday season, but honestly, I am most thankful for my financial situation. Our finances are the tightest and more bleak than I can ever remember, but it for that reason I am thankful. You see, it is because of that, and the thought of no traditional Christmas for our family that has really caused me to reflect on what this season is all about… Jesus Christ and His birth.
From my family, to yours, have a very Merry Christmas! And may the Lord bless you richly. I pray that this year will be more special and different than any other in your life, as you put Christ back in Christmas.
Listen to the song below and truly embrace the words and meaning.
8 That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep.9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened.10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people.11 Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord.12 This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.”
13 Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying:
14 “Give glory to God in heaven,
and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.”[c]
15 When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a feeding trough. 17 When they had seen him, they told what the angels had said about this child.18 Everyone was amazed at what the shepherds said to them.19 But Mary treasured these things and continued to think about them.20 Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything they had seen and heard. It had been just as the angel had told them.
21 When the baby was eight days old, he was circumcised and was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before the baby began to grow inside Mary.