After many newscasts, and much reading about this year’s Black Friday events; I am very burdened by people’s mindset concerning the true meaning of Christmas. As most already know; a lady in a California Walmart used pepper spray on fellow shoppers in order to gain an advantage in the purchase of Xbox 360’s. This outrageous action led me to research just how many other violent acts have caused injury within the past Black Friday’s. The top 13 worst incidences can be seen at this website and are shocking: http://www.ranker.com/list/13-most-brutal-black-friday-injuries-and-deaths/john-barryman
I wanted to start by sharing with you what Christmas is NOT about.
1) Contrary to many of our beliefs, and our practice, Christmas is NOT about feeding, clothing, or caring for the homeless! I like what my pastor said concerning this a couple of weeks ago, “are the poor only hungry during Thanksgiving and Christmas? What about March?” With that said, I believe whole heartily that it is GOOD to help the poor, but to make that the central focus of Christmas takes away from it’s TRUE meaning.
2) Christmas is NOT about gathering around a tree, opening presents, and eating a huge turkey dinner. Again; nothing wrong with that in it’s proper place and attitude.
3) And lastly, Christmas is NOT about Santa Clause, Rudolph, and Frosty the Snowman. Believe me when I say; I love those old claymation movies as well. It’s a tradition to watch them along with A Christmas Story (about the Red Rider BB gun)!
What Christmas IS TRULY ABOUT!
Luke 2:8-11 says, ” And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
Now I know what your thinking; “well that is a given!” But let me say, our actions, our statements, and our attitudes especially this time of year are often very contrary to that! Notice what the Bible says in verse 10 of Luke chapter 2, “I bring you tidings of great JOY, WHICH SHALL BE TO ALL PEOPLE.” What is that great joy?
The only joy we can have in our lives is through the Lord Jesus Christ! Christmas is about celebrating His physical birth, for without Christ coming in the flesh, and dying on the cross for our sin, we can have NO JOY, and ultimately have NO PURPOSE! Also notice that this joy is meant to be for ALL PEOPLE!
The TRUE meaning of Christmas is that Christ was born of the flesh, lived a sinless and perfect life, paid our sin-debt by dying in our place on a cross, and this is the message that we should proclaim to all the ends of the earth. It doesn’t matter how many good works we do, how many presents we buy, or how many trees we decorate; if our friends and family die lost, without Christ; we have truly missed our purpose for existence and have truly missed the reason we celebrate this wonderful season.
I challenge you this year; focus not on how busy you are but focus rather on what Christ has done for you! This is what Christmas is all about.
Merry Christmas from the Underwood’s