The Christmas Season is Upon Us!
The Christmas Season is once again upon us. It seems just like yesterday the family was here sharing gifts, sharing laughter, sharing love. Of course these things ought to be shared all year around, right? Absolutely! God gave us family at least in part for the purpose of sharing not only laughter, love, and gifts, but our very lives. No doubt, in a couple of weeks the troops will be trucking in for another round. Who knows? It may be the last celebration this side of Heaven. But since we ought to be giving, laughing, and loving all year, not just on a particular day, there must be something special about the Christmas season.
And here we are. Christmas 2011--Wow! How far have we come from the true purpose of the day? I was listening to some Christmas music the other day while I was out and about. Not one mention of Jesus, but every song was either about Santa Clause, or made a reference to him. If not Santa, maybe a snowman or two. I may not be quoting this word for word, but you'll get the idea--"...In the meadow we can build a snowman, and pretend that it is Parson Brown. He'll say are you married? We'll say, 'no man, but you can do the job when you're in town.' Later on we'll conspire as we lay by the fire...." I know some will just miss the point and rationalize asking, "so what?" But it sounds a little bit to me like someone is sneaking fornication (or perhaps adultery) into the Christmas celebration--and we just accept it, don't even think twice about it. The holiness and purity of Christ has just been trodden under foot.
How far have we come from the true meaning of Christmas? Every house on our street has all kinds of Christmas decorations in a yearly effort to outdo the "Jones". Stores are packed with lights and bulbs, reindeer, and Christmas trees, but where can you find a nativity for the front lawn?
For years now, The ring of "Happy Holidays" has replaced "Merry Christmas" on the lips of the "politically correct". Now the Christmas tree is being replaced with the "Holiday tree". I don't see where Christmas is necessarily a holiday. It is the remembrance of the incarnation of Christ. It's not like Martin Luther King Day or Columbus Day when government offices and schools close to celebrate a man's achievement. But try getting Good Friday off from work sometime--bet you don't! Not to take away from Martin Luther King or Christopher Columbus, but neither was the Savior of the world. Yet they have their special day. We have robbed God of the glory due Him and given it to mortal men--or maybe to elves.
A few recognize Christmas as the remembrance of the birth of Christ. We're getting closer, but we must remember that Christ existed in Heaven in eternity past. What really took place on that first Christmas some 2,000 years ago was nothing short of the grace of God.
That first Christmas was about Emmanuel, God with us, the very Son of God taking on human flesh. Why? So He could die. The Christmas story isn't complete without the death, burial, and resurrection of Emmanuel. It was His bloody death that enabled you to be brought back into right fellowship with the God of the Universe. It was His resurrection that ensures the victory.
We have it backwards. We think everything is about us. We think that Jesus died so we could be forgiven and continue to live a comfortable life--sin and all. We think that God is a big sugar daddy in the sky waiting to give us our heart's desire. Adding Jesus to our life when He was meant to be our life is just another direction of humanism. Yes, in so many ways 21st Century Christianity has become just an expression of humanism with a religious cloak.
CHRISTtmas is all about CHRIST. Where does He fit into your Christmas plans? The first Christmas was a time of worship as the shepherds made their way to the stable that night. A few years later as the wise men came, their sole intent was to worship. Worship has changed over the years, over the centuries, but the purpose of the Day is still the same.
This Christmas, won't you give Jesus Christ what is rightfully His. It doesn't belong to anyone else!