The following is an article written by my husband for our church newsletter. It's important. It's what I want my boys to remember. It's why we try never to have a "rip and tear" fest. It's why we don't get up before the sun to jump into our stuff. It's why our Christmas Eve service at church is the most important part of our Christmas.
Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about? --Charlie Brown
Trees and lights and shopping mall Santas. Family gatherings, exchanged gifts, frosted cookies and holiday dinner. There are so many things we associate with Christmas. But what is Christmas really about?
If you're reading this article, I'm sure you already know. You understand that Christmas is the celebration of Christ's birth. It is the day when we specifically remember the incarnation. We pause to reflect on the great gift of God to us. Himself.
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. --Galatians 3:4-5
Jesus came to deliver us from sin and bondage. He humbled Himself so that we might be exalted. He suffered and died so that we might receive life. Christmas should remind us of God's love. It should reaffirm how far God was willing to go to save us.
And yet, we realize that this most important truth is often lost during this season. Even if we remember what Christmas is really about, the truth can be quickly addressed and set aside. Quick! Read the Bible story so we can descend into a gift unwrapping frenzy!
I've often heard Christians complain about financial hardship during the holidays. Money is just so tight. I don't know how we're going to have Christmas this year. I am sympathetic to the situation but the actual statement is incorrect. Our paper wrapped tokens and trinkets do not determine whether or not we have Christmas. Christmas is based upon the one gift--the GREATEST GIFT--given so long ago.
Before the tradition of giving gifts became mainstream, before stockings and St. Nicholas, before the Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer special was created out of Claymation, there was Christmas. There was Christmas because Christ had come.
I don't want you to feel guilty about participating in your own family gatherings and traditions. Enjoy some fudge and spend time with your family. But I do hope that the true meaning of the holiday isn't lost in the clutter. The Grinch could come and steal both our gifts and the roast beast and we would still be a people most blessed. We would be blessed because of the Love that God sent. It would be a day to rejoice and sing and celebrate. Because Jesus has come. God with Us! He has redeemed His people from their sins.
So, Merry Christmas.
Thank you, Jesus.
Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is both to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. --Luke 2:10-11