Friday, December 24, 2010
There are a lot of things vying for our attention on Christmas these days. As kids our first thought was always the presents. We were wondering for weeks ahead what was underneath the Christmas tree with our name on it? Sometimes we would even make our list saying what we wanted. Many kids still believe in Santa and wait to try and hear if he is really coming through our chimney.
As we grow, hopefully, are focus goes off of our own presents and goes towards other things. Maybe we start admiring the decorations. Some people like the elaborate decorations covering the front yard, whereas others prefer simple. Or maybe we start focusing on the presents that we get for our family. This can often come in the form of pressure. We think who do we need to get a present for? What should we get? How are we going to pay for it all?
Then the day comes, the pressure is gone, and we are able to settle down and enjoy getting together with family, eating the food, and opening presents. We see the joyful smiles on the faces of the people whom we guessed right, and the fake smiles on the faces of those we got wrong, and we think this is the reason for Christmas and the holidays. After all that's what our PC media always tells us. They tell us that we need to take our focus off of the materialism and our jobs and focus on the time we spend with our family on the holidays, but is that really the reason for Christmas?
All Christians who read this will think, of course it's not! But what do our actions show? What is the biggest thing on our minds as we come up to Christmas? Are we thinking about Christ or what we are going to get for our family? When Christmas comes do we mention Christ beyond the short religious prayer before the meal? Or do we simply gorge on the meal, laugh and joke with the family, and completely forget the reason we are all together? I am guilty of that for the majority of Christmases in my life.
I am not saying that getting together with family is the wrong thing to do. I am also not saying that giving gifts is wrong or even that being excited about your own gifts is wrong. All I am saying is that we say that Jesus is the reason for the season but our focus should be elsewhere. What would you do if you couldn't get together with your family? Or there were no presents? Would you still be able to celebrate without an elaborate Christmas meal? For some of us maybe that would be what it took to get our focus right, but let's try to correct our focus while still having all of those things. Remember that the reason we exchange gifts is so that we can bless Jesus by blessing each other. Remember that the reason we get together is to remind us what Jesus did when he came down to earth as a baby.
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Tomorrow is the day that we have set aside to recognize and remember this scripture. It may not be the correct date of His birth, but that's okay. It is an internationally recognized day in which we celebrate that truth. And it is truth!