While many people participate in and endure Christmas insanity, what is needed is Christmas in sanity. A sane Christmas happens when Christians practice sound thinking, actions and deeds and make the Yuletide season an opportunity to further the cause of Christ and share the gospel.
In many ways, the Christmas season represents both the best and worst of traditions, passions and emotions. Both extremes are evident when we see the need of being benevolent to the poor while spending extravagantly on unneeded and unaffordable gifts. Petty jealousies, latent hostilities or unforgiven offenses can poison precious family gatherings. While the idea of irresponsible revelry connected with the birth of our Savior is outrageous, it is all too common.
Threaded into the accounts of our Savior’s birth, recorded in Matthew and Luke, are several recurring themes which should dominate our commemoration of His birth today. What are these themes?
SALVATION—The primary purpose of Christ’s coming was to introduce a Savior who would provide salvation to a world of lost people. The only qualified Savior identifies with us because God was His Father and Mary His mother. He came as “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt. 1:23). As you enjoy Christmas, remember to communicate the message of salvation.
CELEBRATION—After the angels announced the glorious tidings that a Savior was born, the shepherds heard the angelic host in amazing celebration: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:13, 14). The celebration continued as “the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen” (Luke 2:20). As you observe Christmas, remember to celebrate the birth of the Savior with your family.
WORSHIP—When the magi found Jesus, their first reaction was to fall before Him: “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him” (Matt. 2:11). Our reaction and celebration of His birth should include a time of worship directed toward our Savior.
AWE—A time of quiet reflection about the person of Christ, who He was and what He did for us, leads to pure wonder at the event. Consider this description of Jesus: “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). As you spend time with your family at Christmas, stop and contemplate the greatness of God sending His Son to redeem you.
During this season of the year, it is not too early to begin praying about and planning for Vacation Bible School. Sample kits for VBS 2014, Cross Canyon Trail—Ridin’ Strong with Jesus, will be available the first week of December. Check it out at www.vbs.bogardpress.org. A new book, on sharing your faith with people in cults and false religion, Be An iWitness, is now available at www.bogardstore.org. You may also want a free subscription to our Daily Devotionals at www.yourdailyword.us and they will be delivered to your e-mail inbox.
May you have a safe and sane Christmas, as you share His Salvation, Celebration, Worship and Awe! Merry Christmas! – LarryClements@BogardPress.org