The Real Spirit of Christmas
Christmas is upon us once again and everyone is trying to create an atmosphere of Christmas in their homes and on their jobs. Some people find great joy in decorating for Christmas. Finding that perfect Christmas tree and trimming it, hanging Christmas lights, stuffing traditional Christmas stockings, decorating the house with candy canes, cookies, presents and just about everything we can think of to make the season brighter. Other people find joy in shopping for that perfect gift that no one ever appreciates but the person who bought it. But is the real Spirit of Christmas a feeling that we resurrect each year based on our actions? Are any of the things we associate with Christmas, and do at Christmas time really responsible for the way we perceive Christmas?
I believe we try to recreate a certain atmosphere that we call the Spirit of Christmas Such an atmosphere is one that is centered on the things we do which does in fact determine the way we perceive Christmas. But Christmas is not about our perception of it; it is not about the gifts, the tree, the lights and all of the other commercial things that we attribute to the Spirit of Christmas, but rather it is about Christ because He was God’s ultimate gift to the world.
The real Spirit of Christmas is the Spirit of Christ. For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. John 3:16—Amplified Bible Version.
Have we really lost the true meaning of Christmas in our endeavor to feel the joy of Christmas rather than enjoy the gift of God? As I spoke with a friend a few days ago it occurred to me that somewhere between the manger and the computer, we have lost the precious gift that God gave to us. When I spoke to my friend we were setting up the Christmas tree on my job; it was a routine that we do each and every year. But this year my friend suggested that when we set up the Christmas tree, we should include in the decorating of the tree a little something for everyone. He suggested that we include a little something for everyone—Gays, Lesbians, Muslims, Buddhists and Atheists so that no one would feel left out in the Christmas celebration.
God has included a little something for everyone as He made the birth of His Son a universal gift. Christmas is not just for Christians but it is for the whole world. As the song suggests, it is a time for the whole world to sing Joy to the world, the King is come. God never excluded Gays, Lesbians, Muslims, Buddhists and Atheists, for Jesus came to bring life to all who would accept Him.
God’s gift of His Son was never intended to make us feel good for a season but to liberate us for an eternity. This Christmas Season I suggest we keep it simple by taking a lesson from the Gift Giver. Imagine, the King of the Universe, born in a cave to poor parents who couldn’t even provide clothes for Him. He was clothed in discarded rags; His crib was a feeding trough for animals and the very breath of the animals He created provided heat for Him during the cold nights.
That Child—God’s Gift to us, grew into manhood and He lived a simple life, devoted to helping the poor and the needy, healing the sick, raising the dead and giving sight to the blind. He is the real Spirit of Christmas. So this Christmas keep it simple by helping a family that is less fortunate that yours. Say a prayer for someone who might be suffering from an incurable disease. Resurrect the love that you once had for humanity and life by opening first your own eyes to the suffering and hardship that others have to bear. So rather than trying to recreate the atmosphere of Christmas, let Christ live in you, that you may share the Spirit of Christmas with others and thereby bring joy into your own life.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all eternal life.