A Christmas Addict’s Confession
A Christmas Addict’s Confession
Why God Loves Christmas
A few years ago I heard a “Christmas” sermon on the Pitfalls of Christmas. The message covered many of the real “pitfalls” that can trip people up in the during the Christmas season. Yes, the Christmas season can be a time where people experience depression, loss, and loneliness in the midst of the hectic pace of the holidays, overeating, and credit card mania. Christians can get caught up in the negative aspects as well, and some take on the religious tone that we as a society have “lost the true meaning of Christmas” in the midst of our commercial materialism.
I have a difficult time understanding and relating to the problems people talk about during the Christmas season, for I must confess, I am a Christmas addict. I love everything about it: the sacred, the secular, and even all of the commercialism. I also believe that God loves Christmas, even the secular commercial parts.
Why does God love Christmas?
- The gospel is proclaimed throughout the earth in song. Believers and non-believers alike are inundated with the music of Christmas. Everywhere people go, shopping, work, on the car radio and on the television, Christmas carols are proclaiming that God has sent his son into the world to bring salvation. People can not help but get caught up in the music. If the enemy of our soul was the Chief Musician, he must hate the music of Christmas for people everywhere are singing and proclaiming that Christ has come. People that would never attend church are hearing the gospel being proclaimed through song and enjoying the nostalgia and music.
- Many needs of the widows, orphans and the poor are met during the Christmas season. It is a common fact that during the Christmas season, people give to meet the needs of others. The law of the harvest of sowing and reaping are promises from God. He takes delight in the generosity of others, whether they are part of the Body of Christ or not. He loves when people give to meet the needs of others and he pours out his blessings. Without the Christmas season, many worthwhile charities and food pantries would not be able to meet the needs of others throughout the year.
- Believers and non-believers connect with others and build relationships. Yes, many Christmas parties are centered around alcohol, but in this case, I am referring to ways in which relationships are built, maintained and at times restored. Cards are sent that connect people together that may not communicate but once a year. Parties are held where people take time out of their busy schedules to connect with one another and express their love and appreciation. The gospel is centered around relationships. God loves connection.
- The Christmas season provides a reason for people to spend time together and often the gospel is proclaimed. A pastor friend would preach a sermon every October on why everyone should host a neighborhood Christmas party. It allowed neighbors to get together for fun and the building of relationships. At every party, before the evening is over the host can take the opportunity to talk about why we celebrate Christmas. The gospel is proclaimed. One year my wife baked what seemed like a million cookies. We invited all of the kids in the neighborhood (only one attends church) to our house to decorate cookies to take home to their families. We shared hot chocolate and the Charlie Brown Christmas movie with the kids. We also had an opportunity to talk about Jesus, his birth, life, and salvation. To help with the gathering, we invited an unmarried couple from the neighborhood to “help” us out. They, too, had an opportunity to hear the gospel.
- Christmas is a season of giving. In our society, material gifts are one of the most common ways in which we tell others that we care about them. Yes, people can and do get caught up in the debt trap. The crowds, traffic, and lines at the shopping centers and malls for the Christmas addict is part of the joy of the season. If you take a moment to observe others while in line or hunting for a parking space you will notice that most people are more friendly and courteous than other times of the year. Could it be the joy of giving?
- Nostalgic, made for television movies with simple solutions to life’s problems abound throughout the season. So what’s wrong with heartwarming Christmas movies? Christmas movies have a central theme, love one another. Every movie tells basically the same story, someone is in trouble, and someone comes along to love them out of their pit. God calls us to do the same thing. Yes, the movies usually have a secular bent including Santa and angles that do not resemble the truth of scripture, but the message is the same. Love one another.
Basically, all of these thoughts are reflections of why I believe that God loves Christmas and is able to work through the secularism of our culture during the season. So why not take a few minutes to look beyond the pitfalls of Christmas and, sing a carol or two, drop a few dollars in the Salvation Army red kettle, invite a nonbeliever to a Christmas party, send cards and letters to people you’ve not talked to in years, buy a few unnecessary gifts, curl up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and watch It’s a Wonderful Life with your family and celebrate Jesus. The gospel of the Prince of Peace will go forth and God’s kingdom will come to earth. Look around you, you probably are seeing it already!