One of my favorite modern Christmas songs is This is Christmas by Kutless. The words in the chorus are thought-provoking and profound:
What is Christmas?
If there never was a Savior wrapped in a manger
What is Christmas without Christ?
Indeed. What if a Baby, who would grow to be the Savior of mankind, was never born?
For one, we would definitely not have the Christmas holiday. There would be nothing to celebrate.
I love the whole idea of Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving, my husband gets a calorie-burning workout hauling the numerous bins of decorations from our Christmas closet up the stairs. He then heads outside to set up “Wally and Eva,” our two laser light devices that shine brightly all over the front of our house and garage.
There is joy in shopping for presents for my family and mailing packages to my extended family in several different states. The delight my daughters and I find in baking delicious goodies for our neighbors and close friends and delivering them a few weeks in advance is an event we look forward to each year.
And don’t even get me started on Christmas music. Let’s just say my Christmas playlist somehow mysteriously (or not so mysteriously) found its way into playing more than a few days before Thanksgiving. Nope, I just couldn’t wait. And I seemed to run even farther and faster on the treadmill while listening to that Christmas playlist.
All of those things in and of themselves are fine. It’s when we replace the real meaning of Christmas with temporary things—and put our focus solely on those things—that we find ourselves in error.
Anything can become an idol—anything that we make more important than God. Can Christmas presents, decorations, food, tinsel, and laser lights become idols?
Or add in the busyness of this time of year. The pressure to live up to expectations to create the holiday a certain way for others, as well as ourselves, can become a stress-fest.
Or the debt that we manage to accumulate while finding all those perfect presents for everyone on our gift list.
Do we even remember—and take time to realize—that the perfect present is right before us? The gift of eternal life for those of us who have placed our faith in Christ. Something that will far outlast anything in our temporary world.
So I’m reminding myself this year that it is all about the Savior who was born in the manger. It is all about that Baby who was born on earth and grew to be a man and would give His life for all mankind. A brutal death with the sins of the world on His back, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice.
For us all.
This holiday season, let’s make Christ the ultimate reason we celebrate. Let’s place Him in His rightful place of importance. Ahead of the trees, the food, the presents, the Christmas music, and the laser lights.
And let’s do more than celebrate Him. Let’s show our gratitude for what He has done for us. Not just on December 25, but on every day of the year.
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