Tuesday, December 5, 2017
I’m sure many of you agree that the world’s concept of Christmas or the observance and celebration of it are quite different than yours. Because of it, some of you may not even believe that “its the most wonderful time of the year” as a popular Christmas song suggests. If you are indeed one of those who has soured a bit on it because of the world’s treatment of it, I trust you will let me share with you some of the beautiful thoughts I get every time I read God’s account of the “real” Christmas story.
For starters, the gifts the Wise Men presented in honor of the Newborn King, were in practicality very helpful to His poor earthly parents. A common argument of many Christmas nay sayers is that “if it is Jesus’ birthday, why are we getting the gifts?” I choose to believe that, just like the Wise Men, when we gift gifts to others, we are actually emulating and honoring God. After all, His gift to the world was motivated by His great love for it. The best known verse in the Bible, John 3:16, reminds us: “For God so loved the world that He gave.” Because we are all created in His image, (see Genesis 1:27) we also present our gifts mostly because of our love either for people or for giving alone.
Secondly, the angelic announcement of Jesus’ birth revealed God’s purpose in it, that is, that the news would be a source of “joy” to all people (Luke 2:10) and would manifest His good will toward men. (Luke 2:14) God has not changed. He never will. I believe He still wants His peace and joy to bring people together, especially in the Christmas season.. Unfortunately, many people, including Christians, are not united in the observance and celebration of it. They have permitted the world’s erroneous concept and celebration of Christmas rob them of the joy and peace God wanted to give the world through His Son in the first place. They are like the people in Jeremiah’s day that would blame their dissatisfaction on others. Because of it, God told the prophet to tell His people this: Warn my people to not use this refrain anymore: “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” ( Jer. 31:29) I hope you will not permit what the world or others do with Christmas ruin yours. Enjoy it! Enjoy the food, lights, decorations, etc.. It does not have to be expensive gifts or even gifts at all, but give somebody you love something. A warm embrace, something you baked, or expressions of love to others are oftentimes the best gifts anyway. Let Christmas be “the most wonderful time of the year”, but not because the song says it. Let it be special because it reminds you of the One for whom this time of the year is named.