Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Keeping Christmas

The next to the last line in the famous Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens say of Ebeneezer Scrooge : "and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge."

 Christmas is fast approaching, and I have been thinking about that: keeping Christmas. I had a conversation, or more like a debate/argument with my liberal coworker a while back. He likes to make outrageous statements and start an argument. (Yeah, you, Rich!) This time he informed me that Christmas is a pagan holiday and its traditions are based on pagan things. I disagreed and he brought up how so many celebrate Christmas and what it means to so many. I came back with "well that isn't how I view it and celebrate it. To me, it is the birth of Jesus."

  That conversation has had me thinking as Christmas is rushing toward us at the speed of light, or it so it seems. If anyone should keep Christmas, it should be we who bear His name..... and we should keep it better and differently than the world does. But do we?

  Is it enough to put out a Nativity scene, avoid Santa talk and decorations, go to all of the Christmas services at church...... even the circus they call the children's Christmas program?

 Do we make Christmas too much about US, and not enough about HIM?

 I love Christmas: Being with family, giving gifts, getting gifts (hey, I am human), the music, the decorations, the different attitudes and spirit that seems to be present at that time of year. But do I keep Christmas any differently than people who don't know Jesus as their Lord and Savior?

  We like to harp about the commercialization of Christmas, but what do we do to battle the commercialization in our homes and hearts? In all of the hustle and bustle of family Christmases, parties, Christmas cantatas and caroling and all of the other many things of the season.......are we really keeping Christmas as the time set aside to observe the greatest night in the history of mankind: the time when God became a baby? The night that set the plan of redemption in motion?

 As we gaze at our Nativity scenes, do we see the shadow of a cross on the baby in the manger? Do we take time to truly honor the Reason for the season, or do we tend to forget about Him in our rush to get to the best Christmas sales and wrap our gifts for each other?

  I have spoken and even blogged about Keeping Christ in Christmas, and I want to do that. I want this year to keep Christmas as I never have, even if the difference is all inside. It is the day we set aside to observe the night that Emmanuel became a reality: God with us. It is the night salvation entered the world for whosoever believes. It is the night that God became a baby so He could grow up and die on a cross for the sins of the world.

  Indeed, those who claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior should keep Christmas, and keep it better than those in the world. We know what it is all about.

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