CHRISTMAS, MERRY CHRISTMAS!
During the last weeks before Christmas we can see Christmas preparations everywhere all over the world. We see candles in dark streets already in the month of November. Christmas trees are light up on the first Sunday in Advent. In Sweden where I live we see candles and decorations in windows and on balconies. This is an outward symbol: Darkness is broken. We are making it cozy around us and everything is supposed to remind us of something good and nice. I get happy in the morning when I see the Christmas star shining in my window. You might not have it quite as dark as we in the Nordic countries, but the days are very short at this time of the year. Many do not know why we celebrate Christmas, but everybody thinks that it is something positive. We who know the meaning of Christmas, the fact that Christ is born, have all reasons to celebrate.
It is about 2016 years since Jesus was born by the virgin Mary. We do not know the exact time nor date. That is not so important to me. What is important is the fact that He is born. Virgin Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit. Jesus was already in Heaven, but got formed into a little baby in the womb of Mary. How that happened is a mere miracle and we can’t speculate in how it happened. An angel visited both Mary and Joseph to confirm the fact that she had not been with any man. Mary was chosen. Jesus came down from Heaven and became a human being, but one without sin. We are born as sinners, but Jesus was both man and Son of God. Mary was only carrying Him. We can thank both God and Mary that she was willing to do this. I am sure she was mocked for being pregnant and people wouldn’t believe that she was pure. We can be thankful to Mary, but we should not worship her. We should worship Jesus. He is our Savior and He has paid the price for our sins.
We are celebrating Christmas because Jesus has a birthday. Happy Birthday, dear Jesus! What have you planned to give Him for His birthday? What? I have never thought of that, might be your answer. Then it is high time to do so. Have you asked Him what He desires? I seriously believe that we Christians must put Jesus in the center of Christmas. Most people think of gifts and a lot of food. Some people are worried since they do not feel that they have enough money to buy the things that they think others expect of them. Some families give very expensive gifts and it becomes like a competition. Some people do not have enough money for all the food nor the time to prepare everything, but they feel forced. Who says that we must do all of this? We have so many traditions connected with Christmas. Everything is not wrong, but a lot of the traditions have little to do with Jesus as the Savior of the world. Many families have big discussions where they should celebrate Christmas. We can see each other the entire year, but we must be with my mother this year and your mother next year. I do believe that God wants us to be together with our families, but do not make Christmas the only time. Some are saying that it is not so dangerous what you eat between Christmas Eve and New Year, but you should think about what you eat the rest of the year. I think that we should visit our families during the year also and not only for Christmas.
Some people go to church only on Christmas Eve. I am Christian they might say. They might not have much contact with the Lord during the rest of the year, but it is such a nice atmosphere in the church on Christmas. What about the rest of the year? Jesus is no longer a little baby wrapped in a manger with sheep, shepherds and wise men around Him. I do have a Christmas manger, but I really know that Jesus is alive and is sitting at the Father’s right hand. I do not worship the baby, but the living Jesus who intercedes for me in Heaven. He is the One who is, was and will be for all eternity. To decorate with a crib and to go to church on Christmas Eve, doesn’t make you a Christian. One becomes a Christian when one confesses one’s sins and receives Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior. We say that you are born again. In the third chapter of John we can read about Nicodemus. He really wondered how that could happen.
I do not want to make fun of your Christmas traditions, but I want to emphasize why we celebrate Christmas. Santa Claus has nothing to do with Christmas, but he is portrayed everywhere. If we ever see anything about Jesus, it is a small doll in a manger.
Some people get in a mood of being “kind” during Christmas. They want to do something for the poor and homeless. They want to feed them, but nobody eats only once a year. Some people are helping people during the entire year, but it seems like some want to release their bad conscience during this time of the year. I really bless everything good that is done during the Christmas season, but what about the rest of the year? People need food, clothing and a visit during the whole year. Each and every one of us has to ask the Lord what we are supposed to do. The Lord is saying in His Word that whatever we do to one of His least, we do for Him.
We want to serve Him the entire year!
I love celebrating Christmas. I love to send cards all around the world. I love to buy small gifts and to make it cozy around me. I even enjoy a Christmas tree and do not think about it as a pagan tradition. I think about the word in the Gospel of John saying that Jesus is the head and we are the branches. I put a nice star on top of the tree. I know that the tree is not necessary in order to celebrate Christmas, but for me it is not pagan. I do not worship the tree, but Him who has created all green vegetation.
What happened 2016 years back was and is a miracle. It was planned a long time ago. We can read about it already in Isaiah 9:6: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace.”
LET US BE SPREADING JESUS AROUND US AS A SWEET FRAGRANCE THIS CHRISTMAS!