December 23, 2019
Each of us celebrates Christmas in a way that reflects our own family traditions and spiritual background. During this holiday season we are once again reminded that Christmas has become over commercialized and almost exclusively secularized. We are hard pressed to find any mention of Jesus in the “Christmas” decorations departments of almost any store. The entertainment industry produces “holiday” music and movies which refer to the “real” spirit of Christmas but doesn’t mention Jesus. Even the Dadeland Mall Santa Claus says ‘Happy Holidays” rather than Merry Christmas. For many of us, the Christmas celebrations of today’s politically correct America hardly resemble what we remember from our childhood. In response, many Christians today feel obligated to help preserve the “reason for the season,” by trying to keep the traditions they remember, alive and well. But despite the outcry and efforts of the Christian community all over the world, Christmas 2019 will be even less about Jesus than ever before. May I suggest that before we go out and do battle with every store clerk that wishes us “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas,” we should consider the opportunities we have, that are unique to the Christmas holidays instead.
For instance, Christians are not the only ones to embrace the festivals, the food, and the gift giving at Christmas. The Christmas celebration, though so many today leave Christ out, literally encompasses people of every nation. Even the baby in the manger is not a threat to most people outside of the Christian community. It is not until believers complete the Christmas story and connect the manger with the cross, that the politically correct secular world disconnects and pushes back. The apostle Paul described this in 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” The story of a baby born in a manger is not offensive to most, but the story of God supernaturally being born of a virgin in order to sacrifice His life to redeem His creation just doesn’t make sense to an unregenerate heart. Even though we know that in this increasingly Christ-less season of the year the true reason for the season can only be known by understanding why Jesus was born in that manger on that first Christmas night, our job is to be a witness of the truth. In 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 Paul says, “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
The truth is that all of Jesus life on earth and every event in all of history culminated in one event, Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, dying on the cross for the sins of the world. It was on the cross that the sacrifice was made which would redeem every person who would by faith believe. The lost world, that Jesus came to save, would rather leave Jesus in a manger as a baby where they see him helpless and not threatening to their sinful lifestyle. At Christmas, we who know the truth have a great opportunity to complete the story and offer people who only know, “the holidays,” an opportunity to truly celebrate the “reason for the season.”
As believers, our celebration of Christmas, must exalt Jesus, born in a manger, crucified, buried, risen, and coming again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is through our worship and adoration of Jesus that the world will know about the true meaning of the Christmas season, not in our rebuke of their lack of understanding and unbelief. If our redeemed lives reflect how Jesus has given us the greatest gift anyone could ever receive, forgiveness of our sin and a home in heaven, there will be no danger that the celebration of Christmas will ever come to an end. In fact, Jesus Himself said of His death on the cross in John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me.” Let us lift Jesus up this Christmas so that our world will know the TRUE REASON FOR THE SEASON. So I say we embrace the opportunities that come our way as the world celebrates, and ask God to give us opportunities to introduce others to the only one worthy of our celebration, Jesus Christ.