Christmas! The annual commemoration of Jesus’ birth, Christmas, has been celebrated for hundreds of years. The mere thought of Christmas likely brings many different thoughts to your mind. Perhaps you are looking forward to the family gathering and getting caught up with relatives you haven’t seen since last year. Or it could be that the thought of Christmas saddens you a bit as you think about bygone years and loved ones who are no longer here to share Christmas with you. Or maybe you’re planning a nice Christmas dinner at home with only your spouse and children.
Today Christmas has evolved from a one day event into a highly commercialized festival that spans several weeks during which people spend millions of dollars on expensive gifts and excessive decorations. Fabricated personae like Santa Claus and Saint Nick are used to propagate falsehoods and myths to innocent children world over. However, after the gifts are unwrapped, the decorations torn down, and the fun and festivities over, many people feel empty, dejected, and alone. So what is the Christian’s response? How does a Christ-like person celebrate Christmas?
One of the best ways to honor Christ at Christmas is by praising God. “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:13-14). caroling for our neighbors and the local community is a Christ honoring way to celebrate the birth of Christ. Christmas is a wonderful time to lift our voices in singing the glad tidings of great joy. The Savior came to this world to redeem us! This should give us a spring in our step and a song on our lips. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Heb 13:15).
Another way to honor Christ at Christmas is by sharing our material blessings to help those who are in need. Often when we sit down at our loaded Christmas dinner tables, we forget about the many people in our nation that are having a difficult time providing for the basic necessities of life. Or abroad, in foreign countries such as Africa and Haiti, where situations are much more dire. Thousands and thousands of people are malnourished and starving every day. Christ taught both by word and by example that the true Christian is one who is willing to give and to give generously. In this Christmas season, make a special effort to give food, clothing, and money to help the many who have much less than we do. Organizations like Christian Aid ministries provide an excellent opportunity to help in this way. “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt 25:40).
And finally, we must always be sharing the good news of salvation with others. Jesus came to save YOU! This should be the joyful cry of Christians everywhere. many in our world at the Christmas season attempt to fill the void in their life by cramming their days full of hustle and bustle, and never stop to think about the One who could quench their thirst with the living water. You and I must be the ones to share with these hurting and aching hearts, and Christmas is a perfect season to give of our time, resources, and talents to help others realize the joy and true meaning of Christmas.
~ Carlisle, PA