Christmas is one of the most celebrated events in the entire world. There just seems to be something about this holiday that causes people to be in a good mood. You see a side of people during Christmas that you may not normally see. Wherever you go people are festive and cheerful. It really seems to be the most wonderful time of the year.
Yet, I am worried about Christmas. I am worried that we have replaced the real meaning of Christmas with some form of shallow substitute. It seems that this generation no longer remembers or even really cares why we truly celebrate. While Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, it is also a time of greed and selfishness. People want presents, and if they don’t get the one they want it ruins the entire holiday for them.
I know what you’re thinking. Here we go again. Another blog about “the true meaning of Christmas” that we get every single year. But it remains true. Even if I write about this topic every year for the next 1,000 years it would not be any less true. It is important to point out because there is a real meaning for Christmas, and that meaning can literally change everything.
What if instead of commercialism we promoted the birth of the Savior of the world? What if instead of promoting greed, selfishness, and receiving presents, we promoted the fact that there is a gift that can change your life? This gift doesn’t come in the packaging of a box, but rather in the understanding that there is a God who loves and cares about you. That God robed himself in flesh, was born as a baby, and changed the entire destiny of the world.
There are two things that are desperately lacking in this world: joy and hope. Just look around you. People can’t seem to find true joy or hope in anything in this world. Oh sure, we fabricate joy at Christmas, but it isn’t real joy. Being happy about a gift or a new car is not the same as having a joy that no person or circumstance can take away. And hope? That is in extremely short supply these days. All you have to do is watch the news and you will find your hope quickly being taken away.
Yet, these two things that the world desperately needs are found in a tiny manger in Bethlehem a little over two thousand years ago. If you look close enough at the manger and that baby you will find everything that you need. He doesn’t look like much. He eats and sleeps like a normal baby. There is nothing about Him that would make you think He is special. But this is not just another baby. This is the baby who will provide a new way of life for all of those who believe in Him.
I have been accused of being a Scrooge and a Grinch at Christmas time, and I can understand why. I don’t really get into the music, lights, or presents. To me, those things are a shallow substitute for the real thing. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with those things. Please, enjoy the time that you have with your family and celebrate as much as you can. But in the midst of the gift giving, lights, and music just remember what this holiday truly represents. Merry Christmas!