A war is being waged this Christmas. A war that is much more pressing and urgent than whether to say “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas”.
For us as believers, it’s a battle for our hearts, joy, worship, and our thirst for Jesus.
I love Christmas! I love everything about it—the lights, the tree, and the gift-giving. Perhaps the fact that my birthday is exactly a week before Christmas may play a small role in this fact.
There is nothing inherently wrong with presents or decorations. In fact, Jesus wants us to celebrate the goodness in the world that he made, and even more importantly, to celebrate the gift of His birth.
Going Deeper Than The Feeling
However, we do have to know what we’re up against this season. We can’t just enjoy the “surface,” if you will, but rather, we have to go deeper than just the commercialism.
Almost every Hallmark movie, TV commercial, or classic film promise us a false reality. These programs tell us that we’re going to group hug while we carve the Boar’s Head ham and gather under the Christmas tree in our matching pajamas, laughing in pure joy while festive music plays in the background of our homes. There is a certain feel to this time of year, and we love the feeling.
As we start celebrating, we must ask ourselves a question. What is it that we want from this season? What do we put our hope in that makes this season so merry? What do we long to have that makes Christmas our favorite time of year?
“To us, a child is born, to us, a son is given” (Isaiah 9:6).
Our battle this year is to get beneath all the commercialism and consumerism and get to the heart of Christmas and actually experience our Savior, Jesus Christ, who has come and will come again.
Less merry than we hoped?
The second we begin to shift our focus off the real reason of Christmas and start looking for some other “good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10) is the moment that we long for something that will never come. Why? The answer is simply that we live in a fallen world.
What we truly long for is Jesus.
Something has gone wrong in me. Something is wrong with you. Something is broken. The “broken” something is the severance of God from humankind, and that severance has overflowed into every aspect of our lives. It’s in the governments we run, the businesses we lead, the families we raise, and the education we teach. It’s everywhere. We have no power to save ourselves from this flawed and decaying construction of pride that we’ve built up, and no amount of might and education would be enough to usher peace into the world.
Jesus is the only answer to the things we seek and crave at Christmas, and it’s important for us not to lose sight of His gift to us in the shadows of all the Christmas hoopla. It may seem odd and a tad counter-intuitive to consider our brokenness during “the most wonderful time of the year.” Instead of distracting ourselves with the lights of the trees and the sparkly tinsel–which are not bad things in themselves–we should consider the reality of sin and the Marvelous Redeemer who came to save us from the brokenness that we live in. He has come to sit with us in our darkness in order to bring hope and healing to our hearts.
So, to keep Christ at the center of Christmas (and during the rest of the year), we must consider the bad news that makes the good news wonderful. So we mustn’t stop there! We must build anticipation.
Our society looks forward with anticipation for Christmas. The excitement for December to finally roll around so that we can unravel our lights and dust off our Christmas tree, all in anticipation of the 25th. We celebrate the first Christmas because we know that the second is coming soon and that we can celebrate His birth fact-to-face in glory.
Rebekah is a young writer and podcaster from Southern California who is a lover of all things books and Christ and has been writing and publishing articles on Christian living since the tender age of twelve. Her mission in life is to bring light to the darkness through the written word via fiction and nonfiction. She is the assistant manager of The Wilting Rose Project and hopes to inspire young ladies in their walk with Christ in a world where hope is hard to come by.