Archive for December, 2010

“Getting Christmas Right”

It seems like every year around Christmas time we are inundated withstories about the celebration of Christmas being challenged by those who find it problematic that there is a holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. They seem to be concerned that in a pluralistic society that provides religious liberty (which is a good thing by the way!) that it is unfair for those who celebrate Christmas to have’carte blanche’ on the holiday and all that it represents. They would have us to remove any religious representation from what is indeed, at least in its original context, a religious holiday. They would have us refer to it as the “holidays’ instead of Christmas and also remove familiar icons such as nativity scenes and representations of the baby Jesus from the public arena. If we are to take their lead, then we would be forced to secretly celebrate Christmas in the confines of our own homes without ever speaking the name of Christ in the open. What a silly and unconstitutional thought! If we were to apply this logic across the board, no one would be able to celebrate anything publicly and there would have to be a removal of all religious observances in the public arena. Maybe that’s what they want.

Yet may I say that we who understand the meaning of Christmas may also be guilty of misrepresenting it somewhat. I am not talking about Santa Clause and Christmas Trees. Personally I have no problem with these harmless and fun traditions of Christmas, although I certainly understand that these things are not what Christmas is really about. What I am referring to is that we who understand the real meaning of Christmas
may be guilty of not telling the whole story. We are quick to point out that Christmas is about the baby Jesus, and we are correct.

However, the story of the baby Jesus is not the whole of what Christmas represents. The picture of the baby Jesus in his swaddling
clothes, with the wise men and the shepherds, is a scene that is replayed this time of year over and over, however there is more to the story. You see this baby Jesus grew up into a man. He lived his life among men although scripture clearly teaches He was God himself. At approximately the age of 30 He began an earthly ministry which would end some 3 years later with His crucifixion. We are to understand from the bible that His death was to make atonement for our sins. He died for you and He died for me.

You see, Christmas is not just about the birth of a little baby…but it is also about the death of a Deity! It is not just about the cradle, it is also about a cross and a crucifixion and also a crown. It is not just remembering the birth, yet celebrating the resurrection! You see this baby Jesus who lived a sinless life and died for our sins was buried and then was raised 3 days later so that we can have eternal life. This is why Christians get so upset, or at least they should, when perhaps well meaning folks want to take Christ out of Christmas. It means so much more than just the cute little baby born in the manger. It means our redemption. It means our salvation. It means our forgiveness and life eternal.

Let us not be guilty in our zeal to keep the baby Jesus in Christmas that we may unintentionally also remove the cross out of Christmas. You can’t have one without the other, you can’t have it both ways. Ultimately Christmas reminds us to examine Gods offer of salvation to anyone who will simply trust Him by faith and His provision of forgiveness through Christs death on the cross. Have you done just that? It is so important that you realize that God really loves you so much that He gave His son to die for your sins and that forgiveness can be found in a relationship with Him.

Maybe this Christmas you need to seek out a bible believing church that tells and teaches this story, not just around Christmas, but 365 days a year! From the cradle to the cross to a crown! That’s what Christmas is all about! Merry CHRISTmas to you, your family and may we continue to tell the story until the whole world hears!