I will warn you up front, this post is filled with more rambling thoughts than theology or Scripture. These thoughts are regarding Christmas. At this time, I will not dive into a biblically based examination of the modern Christmas celebration. Instead, I ask you to exercise your imagination for a brief moment…
It is your birthday, and your friends and loved ones have thrown you a party. When the party begins, you excitedly begin mingling with the guests, but you immediately notice something odd. Most of the party-goers aren’t willing to talk to you! Some will talk briefly, just enough to be polite, and quickly go visit other guests. Others will stand in large groups talking about you, but they won’t talk to you. Some folks in the corner are exchanging stories about the grand conversations and exciting adventures they have shared with you, yet you don’t even recognize who they are! To top it all off, all the children (whom you adore) are celebrating with a large man (wearing an extremely gaudy red outfit) in the corner that wasn’t even invited to the party. “Why are the children spending so much time with him?” you wonder, “Do they think this celebration is in his honor rather than mine?” All around you the festivities grow louder and louder, and you hear your name being discussed quite often and yet… very few guests want to spend any time with you at all. Eventually, you come to the only conclusion that makes any sense; these people don’t love you or desire your company, they just love a good party. You decide to quietly slip out the back door, knowing nobody will even be aware that you’ve left.
I can’t help but think that this is how our Lord feels. I am fully aware that December 25th isn’t His real birthday, but I am also fully aware that many, many people have decided they would like to take a day celebrating His birth, and that is the day they do it. But, why so many festivities with so little interaction? He is the “reason for the season” we often hear, meaning it is all about Him. But why is so much of this season about Him? Shouldn’t a lot of it be with Him?
Let me encourage you this Christmas season, and this coming Christmas Day… visit with Him. Spend time in prayer. Quality time that has been set aside with no phone, no twitter, no computer, no surfing ChurchSalt articles, nothing. Just you and Him. Not to ask Him for anything, not to earn favor, but rather to humble yourself before Him. Pour forth your genuine thanksgiving. Intercede for the Christian Brothers and sisters who are in need and being persecuted. Discuss with Him the wonder of His grace and the unmerited gift that is salvation. Tell Him why you are celebrating His birthday, and then celebrate it with Him!!
Please allow me to make one more suggestion, but before I do, let me stress an important point. Please, in no way take this next suggestion as a lessening in the importance of the first suggestion. Spend quality time with Christ. A visit from His adopted children is near to His heart. But let me also encourage you to give Him a tangible gift as well. I know what you are probably thinking, “A tangible gift? What can I get for the God that has everything?” To answer that, I will point you to His own words:
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. – Matthew 25:37-40
When we help Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we give to Him. If you know of genuine believers who are struggling, help them if you have the means. If it is money you have, than share it. If you have limited funds, but are a terrific cook, give them a meal they will never forget! Babysit some children for an evening so the Christian couple that is going through stressful times can be alone and nurture each other. If you feel led to lend a hand to those Brothers and Sisters in Christ who are in true peril, in danger of sword and starvation, then visit Voice of the Martyrs and make a contribution. You can click on their logo below to visit their website.
Folks, Christmas should be celebrated with Christ. Christianity is not just a dead religion. Have you not heard? He is risen!! Treat Him like the living, breathing, loving God that He is and celebrate His birthday the way you do for all those that you love; with quality time, gifts, attention and adoration!!