Dec 2, 2013

Christmas: Holy or Hectic?

If your family is anything like mine then the tree is already up, the lights have been hung, the gift shopping has begun, and the holiday weight has already rising.  Christmas is such an exciting time of the year with such rich and fun traditions that we always look forward to:  the music, the trees, the decorations, the cards, the special foods, and the anticipated time with family.

But Christmas can also be an extremely hectic time of year:  parties, presents, traffic, year-end deadlines, the spending, family, traveling, and yes, the holiday weight gain!  Suicides go up, debt goes up, blood pressure goes up, and weight goes up!  Though we look so forward to Christmas, we sometimes look equally forward to it ending.

I wonder, did Jesus really intend for his birthday to be this hectic?   Did he really intend for us as Americans to spend over $450 billion every year on Christmas?  Did He really intend us to eat more, travel more, stress more, spend more, and sleep less as we celebrate His birthday?

Did He really intend all of this or have we done it ourselves?

Many Christians focus all their energy during the Christmas season on the hectic traditions of Christmas and yet focus very little energy in comparison on the real meaning of Christmas:  Christ.  Is it any wonder why the “Politically Correct Police” are forcing people to not talk about Christ at Christmas?   Think about it, they are just asking us to do what we’ve already done in our celebration of Christmas:  make it about something other than Christ.

I want to challenge you and your family to do something this Christmas:  spend less time, less money, less thought, and less stress on the traditions of Christmas and focus more upon the reason for Christmas.  Think less about the gifts you are going to get and the gifts you are going to give and think more about The Gift He has given and about The Gift that He wants us to give our friends, neighbors, and family. 

2013 years ago a little baby boy was born quietly in a dirty, smelly manager.  There were no lights, no trees, no ornaments, and no eggnog…in fact very few people even noticed at the time.  His name was Jesus the Messiah.  He was “God with Us.”  He came, lived, died, and lived again so that you and I could have the greatest gift God ever gave:  eternal life.  That’s Christmas…simple, powerful, and eternal.