18 December, 2015

What Have We Done to Christmas?

I shared this illustration in my message last Sunday. I cannot remember which one it was, but years ago there was a comic strip in the newspaper in which a mother was trying to explain Christmas to her little boy. After listening to her the little boy thought for a bit and said something to the effect of, "so let me get this straight... Christmas is about the birthday of Jesus, but I get all the presents?" Then he said, "Boy, this Christianity thing is great!"  Sadly, that comic strip had it right. Christmas has become so twisted anymore that it is pretty difficult to even find the true meaning of Christmas. When did Christmas become all about the gifts we give and receive. Even in that vein, we used to say, "it is more blessed to give than to receive."  Now days, there are mountains of gifts under Christmas trees... but it seems it is never enough. Every year I hear about fights in homes were someone did not receive the "gift" they expected and the fight was on.  I actually know of a woman who divorced her husband because she did not get the "gift" she had asked for. I mean, is it even a "gift" if we are demanding it?  This whole thing has gotten crazy.

In my own life, in the past couple of weeks I've had my wife and each of my children apologize to me because they were not going to be able to purchase the gifts for me that they wanted to because funds are tight this year. I've said it year after year... it's not about the gifts. I really do appreciate the fact that they want to express their love in their giving, but I mean it with every fiber of my being when I say that if I did not receive a single present for Christmas it would not matter to me. I left that aspect of Christmas behind years ago. What matters to me is seeing the family that I love so dearly and rejoicing in the fact that each of them knows Jesus as their Lord and Savior. All I could ever ask for "for Christmas" is given to me 365 days a year in knowing that they know and understand that Christmas, while a fun time of celebration and family, is not about one day a year, it's about walking in the peace of Christ the entire year. It's about knowing that they have received the only gift that really matters in this life... the gift of salvation that came to us wrapped in flesh, born of a virgin in a lowly manger... who grew up to die on the cross that we might have eternal life. Knowing that my wife and kids walk in that gift is all that matters to me.

I pray that others around me begin to "get it" that it's not about play stations, big screen televisions, diamond rings, or any of that stuff that will lose it's importance in a few weeks. I pray that they discover the meaning of Christmas that I have discovered. Christmas for me will always be a celebration of God's love toward mankind.

1 comment:

Alan Funk said...