Monday, December 24, 2007

Fruitcake, lights, cards, presents, Jesus

I am not trying to be a scrooge here, but what in the world is up with Christmas? How many people celebrate Christmas around the world? Christmas is always a little hard for me. Not because I don’t get showered with gifts or I don’t have friends, or am lonely. The reason why I get bothered around this time of year is because 1) Where did all the current holiday traditions come from and why and 2) why have we allowed political correctness to infect such a sacred celebration?
The big thing you will here from the pulpit around this time of year is, “I know this time of year can be stressful with all the Christmas shopping and such…” Why? Why is it that we stand in line at 4 in the morning the day after Thanksgiving to catch that sale on those items? How many credit card accounts are open? How many loans are taken out? The pretty lights run the street, Christmas plays are all around town, and cards are handed out like candy. Why? Let me clarify first, I have no problem with the gifts or lights, santa or the trees. It’s interesting to do a Google search on Christmas History. The results are pretty cool. Christmas time is one of the greatest opportunities we have as Christians to tell people about Jesus being born and the implications that brings. In this time of stress, loneliness, depression, and pain, we can offer hope in the name of Jesus. How is that we can shake our heads and say “Amen” when we here this from as pulpit, but go out an be conduits of this madness ourselves? Traditions are the hardest things to break. I question my traditions, I question why I celebrate Christmas the way I do. Why do I feel obligated to buy people a gift for Christmas, how does this celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ? How can we celebrate His birth? I say serve, serving those in less fortunate circumstances. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on toys your one year old will either, eat, lose, or burn, invest in a homeless shelter, buy someone dinner, or serve somehow.
I used to get upset when people would say “Happy Holidays,” it would just burn me up. This holiday started as a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Christians did not take a holiday and put some spiritual funk to it, it’s not like we took Columbus Day and it made it about our freedom in Christ. Columbus day is Columbus day, why can’t Christmas be Christmas? On the opposite end of the spectrum though, all these lights, santa clauses, cards, fruit cakes (gross!), and presents, how can anyone see anything but a holiday. I’m trying my best to remain focused on Jesus rather than the stack of gifts I will get or food I will eat. I am not saying anyone is wrong for what they do on this holiday, I am only expressing my personal feelings about my own crisis with this holiday. So enjoy the food, the lights, the presents, but never forget Christ is at its core and some how try to see through the wall of tradition and holiday and gaze upon a little baby born in a feeding box somewhere in a little no-where town called Bethlehem. God crashed to earth, perfection joined oppression, light was in darkness, freedom became captive, the eternal became finite. Merry Christmas, I pray you and your family will celebrate His birth and the freedom offered through Him.

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