Well it is that time of year again: Deck the halls with advertising, ‘tis the season for merchandising! “Black Friday” is now history but fear not, the fantastic, unbelievable, once-in-a-lifetime, time sensitive, three days only sales are just beginning. Now, I have no real quarrel with buying stuff at this time of year, nor with people getting presents for others. I do not rage inside when someone greets me with “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas”. I do not feel faint when a sign reads “Holiday Trees” instead of “Christmas Trees.” In our diverse, and fairly materialistic culture, all this is to be expected.
But we who by faith know the baby of Bethlehem, the Lord Jesus Christ, need to consider how we might best remind those in our sphere of influence of the eternal significance of this event. It was that moment when in the “fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman…” to deal with the core issue that mankind faces: the need to be restored back to a relationship with God. The Bible tells us very little about that event in Bethlehem (many of the “Christmas traditions” have nothing to do with what is found in the Bible). But it does tell us a great deal about why that event is a critical one: it is that the destiny of each and every individual is at stake. Jesus was born, as God’s great gift to mankind, in order to die on the Cross so that the sin problem would be taken care of once and for all. Eternal life is granted to every person who places their faith in Jesus, the one and only Savior. Now that really is a big deal.
So, maybe we could be a little more proactive this Christmas season (even though it is unlikely Jesus was born on December 25th), reminding folks that the Savior entered the world. If we decorate our house, let’s make sure Jesus is somewhere in those decorations. As we come in contact with others in our neighborhood, our workplace or school, or just with random encounters, let’s be looking for openings to share the significance of this season. At this time of year, many folks get frustrated, angry and/or depressed, so let’s reflect the joy, grace and peace that a real follower of Christ possesses…one who knows the real importance of the Christmas season.