Christmas is cancelled this year. It seems that it is based on rewards. This rewards system measures how good or how bad you have been during the year. Somehow, if your goodness outweighs your badness then you will receive what you asked for. Santa will deliver it to you on that special night called Christmas Eve. Regretfully this year Santa did some checking and nobody measured high enough on the goodness scale to warrent his taking out the reindeers on a cold winter night to deliver gifts as rewards. So, Christmas is cancelled this year.
Stupid isn’t it? Well, just as stupid as introducing Santa into the whole Christmas scene in the first place. And, all this nonsense about being good or bad and the gifts being a reward for coming out on the positive side of the goodness meter. Wow! And yet this is what is celebrated in household after household – Christian and non-Christian. And then we wonder why people have trouble with the real Christmas message about God giving us a gift – THE gift – His Son born as a human being. I don’t wonder why – it is simply the logical outcome of the way we, as born again believers, celebrate the birth of Christ – in almost the exact same way that non-believers do. Hypocritical? A negative witness? Plain stupid? You decide.
So, this being the case – that believers and non-believers celebrate the Christmas season in almost identical manners – and it is the situation as it stands today; what should believers do to change the impression we are giving about Christmas? I think we need to look closely at the way we are celebrating the birth of the Savior, God’s Son, and make some definite and maybe even drastic changes. It’s okay to celebrate His birth in the midst of the pagan celebration of whatever it is non-believers are celebrating … that is how Christmas ended up on December 25th in the first place. But it is not okay to be doing exactly what they are doing as they celebrate their gods and their fantacies.
So, what changes could be made?
1> We could spend more time in prayer and in fellowship with the Father during this special season – afterall, this is why Jesus came in the first place … so we could come to intimately know the Father.
2> We could actually attend worship with other believers (fondly known as going to church) more frequently than at other times of the year – not less frequently as is the case most of the time
3> We could give more to help the poor and spend less to feed our out-of-control appetites for more and more consumer goods and technological toys not to mention all the other things we buy but don’t really need
4> We could spend less and spend only cash and thus not incur any further debt celebrating the birth of Jesus who gave up His rights and the glory of Heaven to help others and to open the way into Heaven – selfless and not selfish
5> We could eat a lot less and not over indulge and thus fall into gluttony. This would also keep us from feeling guilty and from making New Year’s resolutions about exercise and weight which we know we will never keep and which lead only to more guilt
6> We would speak more often of our love for God the Father and Jesus His Son and tell others about His love – inviting them to come to the place where they could have their sins forgiven and know the assurance of His love – it’s called telling others the gospel or good news that Jesus saves and that this is what Christmas is really all about (evangelism)
7> We could tell others we love them in words, hugs, and by spending time with them instead of with gifts which mean little and took little thought, time or personal investment to purchase and give
That would be a good start I think! Why not make up your own list and see what you come up with. What changes would you make in your Christmas celebrations to bring them more into line with the way you believe a Christian should celebrate the birth of the Savior?