It’s Christmas morning, and all through the house, few creatures are stirring in Mama D’s house. I thought that I would take this time to jot down a few words before the Christmas chaos begins.
Christmas truly is a wonderful time of year. Who can criticize some of the basic principles that it promotes: peace on earth, sacrificial giving, and time with family? These are fundamental qualities for a strong society, and these are points that our children (and adults for that matter) desperately need to learn.
But, who can deny that it is also a season of commercialization and financial profit, focus on self, stress, and family feuds? The challenge is to pursue the right course of action during this season and focus on the right things. Many may see this as a time to make a profit, but we cannot let the dollar be the ultimate consideration in this season. Life is about much more than money, and we should learn that lesson from Christmas. This danger is particularly acute for children, who are showered with gifts. Parents and guardians must make a conscious effort to teach the lesson of giving and not just receiving!
This is also an appropriate time to focus on one aspect of the story of God, the birth of Christ. It is a time for thanksgiving for all that God has done, and especially the person of the Christ. These words are actually somewhat controversial in my situation, because I grew up churches of Christ, which did not (and still does not) celebrate Christmas religiously. The argument basically went that since the Bible commands remembrance of Christ’s death and mentions no celebration of his birth, his death should be our focus. While I cannot condone every single practice that may be associated with Christmas, I think that we should take every opportunity that we can to remember the story of Christ. If others are thinking about the story of God, we should use this time as an opportunity to converse with others and direct their thoughts to what is truly important in life.
Let me make one final point. One of the dangers of Christmas is that we would limit the aforementioned qualities and remembrance of God’s story to a particular season. For Christians, discipleship demands a continual focus on the qualities promoted at Christmas. Love, joy, peace and selflessness must be a way of life. God’s story should always be on our hearts. It must be the story we live and breathe, the story that directs our steps and influences our life.
So, Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy the blessings of the season, and remember what is most important in life. Let this day be 1 out of 365 where we focus on the goodness of God and strive to grow in greater relationship with our Creator.