Well, Christmas Season is here again, folks, and once we get all our shopping and card mailing done we can sit back and be content, if there’s enough time. It will probably be just like last year – rush, rush, and then when we finally get to open all those presents on Christmas eve, we’ll be able to hear the whole world sigh with relief, as if it’s all over. Oh yeah, there’s still church and a Sunday School program Christmas morning, but it’s relaxing to just sit for a while, and don’t the kiddies look cute saying their speeches up there?
I want to accuse us all of fast losing the real meaning of Christmas. We can give ourselves zillions of excuses for doing the things we do.
“Oh, trees and wreaths and bells and stuff are just ‘harmless tradition.’ But why have them? To force on ourselves a kind of outward happiness? To induce a ‘Christmas spirit’”?
We kill too much God-given time and money on those frivolous decorations. And can you really get or keep any good friends by sending them a picture and a copy of your name on a cared? And presents – oh yes, we have excuses for them too – “The wisemen gave Jesus presents,” or “God gave us the gift of His Son.” True, but the emphasis of Christ comes through the weak, if at all. The whole present bit is getting too far out of hand. Think of the children. Don’t they make up “Christmas lists” at the first mention of the holiday? Yeah, we’ll give them a little talk about the birth of Christ, but you can’t fool them. Actions speak so much louder than words. Don’t you realize that it’s damnworthy that so much emphasis is placed on presents and other trinkets and THE CENTRAL EVENT of History is lightly placed in a manger, covered with straw, and left in a cave on the other side of the world. You know what it reminds me of? It reminds me of so many people going to a party and getting so drunk that they never knew where or not the guest of honor showed up. Look how the Lord is shoved aside! OUR SAVIOR! in second place! That’s awful.
Christians, we must have our eyes opened. Think of the Israelites, the chosen people of the Old Testament. The promise was given, and for a while all that called itself Israel was eager in anticipation. Every expectant mother was hoping she was bearing the Messiah. But as the years went by, the Jews wondered if God actually had forgotten, or something. But no, God kept His word. While the Israelites were dying, God sent His Life. And that means the beginning of our Life, too. We all say this is an extra-important event, so we commemorate something annually.
And truly, a Christian celebration would be both appropriate and beneficial if all the aspects of the celebration would be reflections of joy in our Savior.
Think a minute about what it takes to make you happy for Christ’s sake.
Would a big meal do it? – okay, have a big meal.
Would greeting a fellow Christian? – send a card.
Would buying your sister a gift you don’t think she deserves? – do it for God’s sake.
Would killing one of God’s trees and trying to improve on its beauty make you happy for His sake?
While you’re thinking – think on His Word: “Whether ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God/” Pray for help that whatever you do, you will do to God’s glory, especially during this time of year when the temptation is so great to do things for their own sake.
Then when the children ask you why you’re doing things differently, you will have an answer.
Joy to the world.
The Lord is come.
Let us receive our King.
Originally Published in:
Vol. 31 No. 8 December 1971