On an early morning walk not long ago, I noticed something that was rather humorous at the time. Walking through a local neighborhood, I passed a yard that was decorated for Christmas. It had lights and all the trimmings that make up the usual holiday décor. It even had the giant inflatable Santa, Frosty and Rudolph. The only problem with these inflatables is that they were all lying on the grass, completely deflated. I chuckled to myself as I passed, but it didn’t take long for my mind to start to notice the spiritual truths found in a lifeless, deflated Santa, Frosty and Rudolph.
There is a question that has always intrigued me: “If we took Christ out of Christmas, what would we be celebrating?” Think about it. On Independence Day, we celebrate our freedom as a nation. On Veteran’s Day, we celebrate the men and women that paid the price for that freedom. On New Year’s Day, we celebrate the newness of a fresh start, and the passing of the old year. Easter? We remember our Savior’s victory over death and our new life in Him as a result (and that’s even challenged today). You see, every holiday has some significance, something that we remember and celebrate. Take Christ out of Christmas and we have nothing but a holiday with no significance. Nothing to celebrate but consumerism. No lasting joy. No celebration of anything significant in history. Just a day that once it’s done, we feel as deflated as those inflatables in that front yard.
You see, Christ stepped out of heaven and came to earth in the form of a baby boy not just to give us a reason to give and receive gifts on December 25th. He came that you and I might have joy all year long. He came that we could find forgiveness. He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). He gave up His rights in paradise to wrap Himself in human flesh and suffer just like we do at times. God became finite so that we might gain access to the infinite, to eternal life. And that is only found in Christ (John 14:6). And it’s through His coming to earth that we find reason to celebrate. We find reason to have joy. We discover that life is more than what we see here. And that’s why we celebrate the greatest story in all of history. That’s why we celebrate Christmas.
This year, may you find in your celebration a sincere joy that is found only in true worship of our Savior, Jesus Christ. May you see beyond the temporal of boxes, bows and trimmings that the holiday brings. Oh, don’t misunderstand me on this. There’s nothing wrong with exchanging gifts and decorating. That’s part of celebrating His birth. But let’s remember the true meaning of Christmas. Let’s put our focus on that which goes far beyond the things that will be deflated and stored back in the attic by the start of the new year. Let’s keep Christ in Christmas, and in doing so, we’ll find that the joy we discover each year at this time is the same joy we can experience all year long.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
“Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.’” (Luke 2:9-11)
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