Another year has flown by and Christmas is just a few weeks away. Many are excited with the holiday season while others are struggling and feel overwhelmed for many different reasons. Most people love the magical stories and traditions that we are accustomed to, while a few of us have researched and discovered that much of our festivities and rituals have nothing to do with Christ at all. For those who would rather focus on a more spiritual meaning, we can look to the Old Testament which prophesied that a child would be born of a virgin and was sent by our Heavenly Father to provide salvation for those who would believe. The New Testament tells about the Messiah’s ministry and how He was born to die, however He raises from the dead three days later and returns to Heaven as His sacrificial mission was accomplished. We rejoice in Luke 2:14 that proclaims, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” but I’m apprehensive when Santa is promoted as having similar supernatural abilities as God and competes for all the attention.
If there was ever a reason to decorate the house and celebrate, it would be to tell the world that Jesus Christ is the Savior who wants to deliver us and set us free from sin. He is the Master of the universe, the Creator of all things and is forever the way, the truth, and the life. You see, it would have been much easier for God to send us a Hallmark card saying, “I care about you” but instead He demonstrated and proved how much He loved us and is now patiently waiting for whosoever to decide if they will live for Him or someone else. I’m personally convinced the temptation of commercialism distracts the world from the true reason for the season, and I guess this reveals I’m one of those grumpy Grinch’s who are commonly referred to as a party pooper. If you’ve read, “The gift of the Magi” we see there is a difference between wisdom and being impulsive and that love is more important than things. Anyway, for those who feel more comfortable following the Bible account of why we celebrate Christmas, there is peace and comfort in knowing that Christ is filled with endless mercy and compassion for all people. His humble entrance into this realm which is referred to as the incarnation and along with His glorious resurrection are the two most preeminent events in the history of the world. “Joy to the world, the Lord has come.”
I was driving down the road the other day and noticed a person up ahead holding a sign. The first thing that came to my mind was that someone is being paid to advertise for a Christmas sales event or maybe it was a plea from someone needing financial help. As I came closer, I noticed the sign said, “Jesus loves you.” I respect anyone who would stand on the side of the road on a cold and windy Saturday morning and fearlessly relay a message about the love of God. This simple act of evangelism touches the deepest part of my heart and as I drove by I waved and smiled attempting to encourage and show my support all the while wondering why my burden for the lost is not this heavy. This brings to mind just how significant Jesus being born really is. We assume that everyone already knows who He is, but the idea of us becoming a catalyst for God’s kingdom includes spiritual sensitivity and not being embarrassed to share this gospel of His amazing grace. Since Christmas is generally associated with giving presents, may we remember there could be no greater gift to mankind than Immanuel (God with us). “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” I John 5:11. It’s difficult to imagine anyone walking away from this priceless offering of redemption, but sadly it happens much too often. I think about the precious gifts the wise men brought to the Christ child and wonder what can I give to the one who created everything? Among the lighted trees, packages, and delicious meals, let us consider the true meaning of Christmas as we humbly realize that all the Lord has ever wanted is our heart.
Dr. Holland is a Christian minister, author, and community outreach chaplain. To read more articles and stories or to request a free copy of his new CD at: billyhollandministries.com
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