December 24, 2007
Christmas... to some its just another holiday, to others its an excuse to have time off work, and to some folks its not even a day to take notice of anymore. Life has a way of tearing us down and keeping us there. The Christmas season is very difficult for many people because of troubles they've had through the year. Many can't afford to buy gifts because they don't have work. Some have lost loved ones on Christmas or just before while others are too disenchanted with all the commercialism and hypocrisy that goes on during this time of year.
So why am I speaking about so many depressing things on a day when every thought should be one of joy and peace? Because I think the real meaning of Christmas isn't feeling happy, getting or giving gifts, or even being with family and friends. To me, the meaning of Christmas means sacrifice, self sacrifice and honest, no-strings-attached help for others. Why is it that most of us only think about giving to the poor, or depressed, or lonely when its Christmas? Or if we do help, why is it that we do good deeds and expect no returns only once a year?
The story of a baby born to a virgin has been told for so many centuries and the power of its meaning has changed countless lives. But its getting buried under fairy tales of Santa Clause and reindeer. Does knowing about Santa Clause bring comfort to people who lost loved ones or jobs or relationships? I don't think so.
Although the story of a virgin becoming pregnant is one to raise interest it isn't that aspect of the story that impacts me the most. Its the part that tells how there is a God who saw this world and all the suffering in it and decided to come down to our level. It is the part that says He did it so that He could live as one of us and understand us more deeply.
The story explains that God accomplished this miracle by sending his most loved son, Jesus. And what makes this event so amazing for me is that Jesus did it willingly and with the knowledge that he would have to die to save us from our despair. His death and how it came to be is told and celebrated on Easter.
But Christmas... Christmas is the beginning of this incredible act of love. A God that can do anything, chooses to know us and save us just because He wants to love us for all eternity! If that isn't the greatest gift any world could ever receive than I don't know what is!
This is why I see Christmas as more than just having fun or feeling good or doing good deeds, because it is the day God made His move to prove how much He loves us. His action was one of self-sacrifice and the highest example of helping others with no strings attached. And I am so grateful, so thankful for what He did that I want everything I do, on Christmas day and every day, to reflect His love and sincerity.
Even the word Christmas has Jesus name in it, " Christ." The story is filled with detail and history proves many of the events having really taken place. The Bible has survived millennia not because it tells good stories, but because every time people try to prove it wrong they can't find proof of its contents being false. On the contrary.
But I'm getting off track. This Christmas I'm searching for ways to make a difference in someone else's life and my goal this coming year is to help as many lives as I possibly can. Its true that we can't always help folks financially but we can help in many other ways and sometimes money really isn't the best way to help anyhow. And I hope that each of you find deeper meaning and purpose in your lives. May each of you have peace even when the world is in chaos and may you find joy that rises above all your insecurities, loneliness, and worries.
Thank you also for reading all my ramblings this year! I look forward to sharing more next year and I hope I can be as much of an encouragement to each of you as you have been to me. Have a beautiful Christmas and God bless!
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD" (Luke 2:11).