Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 8, 2008

Reconsider Christmas

   I look forward to Christmas because it‘s the one time of the year when folks have to think about Jesus. Even people who don’t normally think about Jesus are forced to think about Him, even if only for a moment. I wish that people would think about Jesus more than they do, but the fact of the matter is they don’t. Every year, Jesus is increasingly obscured by commercialism, attacked by secularism, and eclipsed by consumerism.

   Americans think more about themselves than about Jesus. We spend an average of $450 billion dollars annually on Christmas. Someone observed that we purchase gifts with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like. Imagine what could happen if we spent that kind of money to feed the poor, clothe the naked, and care for the dying. We could change the world.

   How will you celebrate Christmas this year? Will you celebrate it with little or no thought about Jesus? Will you allow the incessant activity of the season to cause you to lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas? The first Christmas changed the world. Christmas can still change the world, one person and one home at a time. Here are a few suggestions for reconsidering Christmas.

Review — Do not let the familiarity of the Christmas story rob you of the desire to carefully review it once again. Take the time to read Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts of Jesus’ miraculous birth. Ask God to fill you with the wonder and excitement of a child hearing the story for the first time. After all, Christmas is about Him.

Reflect — Listen to your favorite Christmas carols throughout the day and reflect on the real meaning of Christmas. Sing your favorite carols out loud in the shower and in the car. Use a favorite carol as a springboard to discussions about Jesus with family and friends.

Remember — Focus on the one thing that is more meaningful than any and all of the material gifts you will give and receive — God’s gift of eternal life to those who place their faith in Jesus. Remember, the whole purpose of Jesus’ incarnation was to seek and to save what was lost (Luke 19:10).

Rethink — Do not let the stress of the season rob you of joy. Take control of the season by rethinking your priorities. Make choices that honor God and that will keep you from starting the New Year drowning in a sea debt.

Reserve — Spend less money on yourself and keep a reserve to help those in need. Give your presence in addition to presents. Spend meaningful time with those you love and with those who are lonely. Ask God to help you connect with the least of these in your community.

Report — Do not be a spiritual Scrooge by keeping the real news about Christmas to yourself. Take advantage of opportunities to report the news about Jesus to others just as the shepherds did after they saw the baby Jesus. And, remember to keep sharing the Christmas message throughout the new year.

Rejoice — In spite of what the world thinks of Jesus, rejoice that “he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a human being, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:7-8 | NIV)


Responses

  1. Your list of things to do (remember, reflect…) are very well done. Your advice is great. But I would like to comment on your post’s introductory paragraphs. It should come as no surprise that the culture we live in wants to consider Jesus no longer than it has to. To the non-Christian, it’s the lights, the toys, the gifts, the television specials and on and on that give Christmas meaning. For those that don’t know Christ, the true meaning of Christmas is limited to the warm fuzzy feeling drinking egg nog and watching the snow flakes generates. Only Christians who know Christ (the dead, buried and resurrected Christ at that) can REMEMBER what Christmas really means. If the baby in the manger is anything less than “God with us,” we cannot know or understand the true meaning of Christmas.

  2. Amen, Clark. Thanks for sharing your insight.

    Blessings,
    Omar~


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