The angel announced “I bring you good news of a great joy… for unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11) Settle down – I am not going to preach at you. You get enough of that in church week-after-week. But, I do have a comment or two to share with you. Well, more a question or two.
Seen much “great joy” recently in your travels and activities relating to this Christmas season we are in? I haven’t. I admit right up-front that I have not done any Christmas shopping (for gifts). I will buy my wife a gift on Monday and that’s it. But, I have been out daily with my work as a leader in a local church; I have gone food shopping; I have entered the post office area of my local drug store and stood in line at the bank; attended “Winter Festivals” (once called Christmas Concerts)… And, I have been pushed, shoved, ignored, elbowed, almost run over, close to being run into… AND worked hard at carrying on numerous conversations about Jesus throughout all these mild trials and tribulations. And, I must admit I have not seen much joy let alone “great joy.”
Second question: “Have you seen much that has had to do with the real meaning of Christmas – you remember, the birth of the Saviour of all humankind on that first Christmas morning in the City of Bethlehem?” I think not. I have been in numerous stores – food stores, several electronic stores, a Walmart or two, Staples, several restaurants, and a few other establishments (not to buy but to witness to people I know who work there and encouragement them in this major rush) and I have seen little that would remind people the real “reason for the season.”
So, in our tolerant, materialistic society where everything goes, including our money, I am finding that the message of Christ, the “good news of great joy” is being ignored, lost, forgotten. In our frantic pace of life we are too unsettled and rattled to recognize or welcome the Prince of Peace whose birth we celebrate. Jesus has been lost and the purpose of the season buried.
So, I buy one gift – a simple gift of something that is needed by my wife. And, I spend some extra time with family members enjoying a meal, a game night, a quiet cup of coffee… But, more important, I spend more time in my study with my Bible – the Word of God. I spend more time focused on my Lord and Savior. I speak with Jesus about 2013 and what I did or did not do for Him. And, we look together at what He is asking me to do with Him in 2014 and beyond. I honestly refuse to get sucked into the materialistic madhouse that Christmas has become. I want to experience the joy and peace that Christmas is all about.
Maybe I am just getting old but…