What is Christmas to you?
Not surprisingly, December has been full of talk of Christmas. Conversations in meetings at work turn to getting ready for Christmas, people lament over how the Christmas lists made by their kids or grandkids get more and more expensive every year, and they stress over finding and affording those perfect gifts. Shows my son has been watching all throughout December are all about Christmas, usually ending with the characters finding the true meaning of Christmas – spending time with those we love.
All these conversations and shows have got me thinking a lot lately about what Christmas really means to me. If I were to be honest, many times in my life, Christmas would be a time of stress and I would too often find myself looking forward to when the season would be over. Have you ever found yourself in that place? Things are busy at work, there are kids Christmas programs and parties, gifts to buy for all we love, travel plans to make, or a house to get ready for house guests. So much going on.
Buying things for those we love and getting to spend time with family and friends are good things. But is that what Christmas is about? For me, the answer is no. Not anymore. At least, it isn’t what I want it to be to me as a follower of Christ. To me, Christmas is all about CHRIST. It is a day to celebrate the life of Jesus, the only perfect gift, a gift of heaven to a fallen world. I don’t want to allow myself to get so caught up in all the other stuff, all the busyness, that I lose sight of that. As I take the time to reflect and remember His birth and His life and what it means for me, it leaves me longing for His return.
I know firsthand that even as Christians, it can be easy to fall in to the world’s view of Christmas, making your lists, stressing over making the holiday perfect. It can be easy to fall in to the fun of Santa, teaching our kids about him and how he watches over everything they do all year to determine if they are worthy of good gifts or not. The truth is, though, there has only been one perfect gift and it came from a Savior who already knows we are not worthy and chose to come be among us and die for us anyway. He is worthy to be honored and celebrated, not just this one day, but every day.
This Christmas, as you are enjoying time with your family and friends, giving and receiving gifts, make sure to be intentional about spending time in reflection and remembrance of the birth of our Savior. For those with kids and grandkids, make sure they know the TRUE meaning of Christmas. Let it be a day of remembrance that He chose to be among us, to be born, not in a place or position of royalty, but humbly as a sacrifice and servant. He chose to come in to the world of darkness to be the light so we wouldn’t have to walk in darkness anymore. Let it fill your heart with thankfulness for Him and fill you with the longing for His return.
Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon his shoulder and His name will be Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the goal of a donkey.
Revelation 22:20 He who testifies to these things says , “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!