Elkridge Pastor on Putting Christ Back into Christmas
Lift your spirits by returning to the holiday's original meaning.
For many, Christmas is a truly wonderful time of family, friends, food and giving. But for others, the pressure to feel joyful when it seems like there is nothing to be joyful about can be difficult.
Christmas in today's world has been hijacked to be simply a time of gathering with family and friends and those sometimes dreadful office parties. And while there are often gifts exchanged, the gift at the heart of this remembrance celebration is usually never mentioned or given much thought. Reflecting on this precious gift can truly help everyone to experience the love, peace, hope and joy that Christmas brings.
Christmas, like Easter, is a distinctly Christian celebration. To eliminate or to somehow leave out the main reason for the celebration seems, dare I say, an injustice. For if it were not for a virgin-born baby named Jesus some 2000 years ago in a little town called Bethlehem, there would be no celebration called Christmas.
At the heart of our celebration of Christmas, we give gifts in honor of the gift God gave mankind in Jesus his son. But for us to truly appreciate the gift God gave we must know more about what the gift of the baby Jesus really includes. What do we get if we accept this gift from God?
The Bible has a lot to say about this, but let me just highlight a few things that might help us experience all that Christmas is meant to be. The Bible is crystal clear that if we accept the gift of Jesus by faith, our relationship with God that was separated is now united. The sins (things we do wrong) are forgiven by God. In fact, the Bible says we are adopted into God's family and now are entitled to an inheritance called eternal life, which if you study the scriptures tells us begins now (very cool). The Bible goes so far as to say that God indwells us through the power of his Holy Spirit. The gift gets even better—the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to experience many wonderful emotions and character traits, such as love, joy and peace. Sounds a lot like the themes of Christmas!
My encouragement to you is to celebrate the true gift of Christmas, the birth of the Savior to the world. Celebrate all that comes with the gift of Jesus—love, joy, peace and hope for eternity. Remember also it is a birthday party for Jesus; what are you giving to Him this Christmas? Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!