WHAT DOES IT MEAN? The world comes into focus as we discover Christmas. Each year God peels back a layer, rich with newly appreciated memories and formative…
“Commercialism” is a buzzword with a negative connotation, accused of stealing sincerity from the Christmas season. Big box chains and online retailers see the benefit of Christmas tradition in their bottom line, each year creeping further back into our Thanksgiving celebrations. The marketed rush of “have to haves” brings out a less endearing side of humanity, but no quest to cash in can take “Christ” out of Christmas.
God promised us in the Old Testament that He “will take care of the hidden things” (Deuteronomy 29:29). When we were created, He declared, “It is good!”(Genesis 1:31). God set us down in the Garden of Eden, surrounded by His love and provision. We were created to exist in the joy of knowing that He is Lord and we are His creation. The sinful curse that began with the Serpent has since caused confusion over how much fun we are actually allowed to have in this life.
This is the society that we live in, and we have to find a way to unite in prayer for each other, especially at Christmastime. All families are challenged to maintain an unrealistic amount of patience with difficult family members at Christmastime, but the power of prayer can cut through any awkward situation. No matter how blended we may be, God hears us, He loves us, and embraces us!
Christmas can make us feel like we’re crazy. We abide in an ever-increasing “PC” society that refuses to give the holiday’s namesake it’s greeting. Commercialism threatens to cheapen the man that raised people from the dead and healed them miraculously. Disheartenment can drown out our holiday cheer, leaving us to feel like the kid in Home Alone …”is this a joke?”
Christmas can be joyful no matter our circumstances, because of the hope Jesus brought down from Heaven with His birth. Those of us blessed with the witness of parenthood forever share a piece of our souls, and it seems insurmountable to fill the void when those little lives that once clung to us in safety are replaced with somber quiet.
When the holiday dinner scene freezes, as our ears digest reaction-inducing chatter intended to hurl us into a fury, everything in us wants to give in and let the lid off. Sometimes, even our efforts to back peacefully away from conflict end in a confrontational chase for answers. From new offenses to old skirmishes, reuniting with family over the holidays can be full of drama.
The holiday seasons lends new understating to God’s command to pray without interruption. The minute we break ties with His peace, calamity and worry seep in through the cracks in our psyche. It’s difficult to maintain a prayerful discipline amidst a normal routine, but the holiday hustle makes it even harder to concentrate our focus on Him.
The holiday season lends Christians the opportunity to extend the love of Christ more than the usual weekend experience. ‘Christ’ resides in ‘Christ’mas, in more ways…
Presents aren’t the point of Christmas or the Christmas Tree, but the Greatest Gift is. Largely associated with the Christian celebration of Christmas, the traditionally adorned tree is now shared by many backgrounds of faith and holiday celebrations.