“Christmas is almost here!” Have you heard that lately or even said those words to yourself? As we celebrate Christmas this year, what do you suppose the celebration will look like in your life? If you are like me, I love the celebration of Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. However, the Christmas season can bring about many stressors.
In the secular world, Christmas is a celebration that is being attacked on every front. Christmas carols are being changed so that no one’s beliefs will be insulted. Rather than reading the words “Merry Christmas”, we are often confronted with “Happy Holidays”. The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ is becoming a time to celebrate without Christ.
Christmas is a time for giving, but it seems that is has become a time for consumers to lose all senses of financial responsibility. While being a time of celebrating, spending time with family and friends, sharing gifts, we often wake up after the Christmas season to realize that we now have bills added to our other bills, and they must be paid. Could it be that the evils of consumerism and materialism have stolen the truths of celebrating the birth of our Savior?
Another stressor is simply the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Most likely, your calendar is being adjusted every day, with the addition of another party or gathering. Maybe it’s a school party for your children, a party at your place of business, a Sunday School party, an extended family gathering, and all of this is piled on top of your regular schedule. Just to think about it can make you stressful!
Rather than allowing secularism, consumerism, materialism and busy schedules to steal our celebration of Jesus Christ, why don‘t we make some adjustments? Maybe we should buy gifts with intentionality rather than just buying gifts for the sake of buying gifts. Maybe we should make the time that we spend with family and friends special, rather than a time of forced togetherness. Give more attention to the toddlers, spend time with the teenagers, give appreciation for your parents, and be concerned for your friends. Be mindful that we may be spending time with someone who is lonely due to the death of their spouse or family member. We may be spending time with someone whose health is failing, someone who has lost their job or may be going through a hard time in life.
Jesus Christ is God’s gift to us. In John 14:6, we read these words, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man can cometh to the Father, but by me”. Remember, Christmas is almost here! Don’t be like the innkeeper who was too busy with the mundane issues, or like the guests who were more concerned with their comforts, or like King Herod who was too absorbed with his dreams of glory.
Guard your hearts and lives so that Christ will be the focus of your celebration!