Saturday, December 24, 2011
CHRIST in CHRISTMAS
Lately there has been a lot of noise about keeping Christ in Christmas, and in some ways there is progress being made. More people seem to be saying “Merry Christmas” this year and Christmas specials are being called just that in some cases. Our noses got a little out of shape when ”rules” were made that discouraged or even forbade using that phrase and it was insisted that all celebrations be included under the umbrella phrase “Happy Holidays.” For once common sense and national pride stepped up and demanded that we be free to celebrate our Christmas traditions and Holiday the way we always have. Good for us.
But how far are we really willing to go to keep Christ in the picture? Do we have angels, stars, manger scenes or the cross anywhere in our Christmas décor? Do the cards we send reflect the reason He was born? Will we be going to church this Sunday, since Christmas falls on Sunday?
There was a time that I attended a church for about 10 years that had a service on Christmas morning no matter what day of the week if fell on. I had no problem with that, in fact I loved it. But I had no kids. And I had no personal traditions that didn’t fit with that. I truly enjoyed gathering with my church family on that day and worshiping together the Christ in Christmas.
But I am reminded this year that some Christians wish Christmas would not fall on Sunday because it interferes with the traditions they follow every other Christmas. This breaks my heart. But then I am a little fragile. I was away for a long time and now I cannot stand the thought of not being there unless I am dead, dying or out of town.
Apparently, many of my fellow Christians feel the same way because they come every Sunday even though they are in serious pain 24/7 from the things that ail them. And many more make it every Sunday, too.
When I had my heart attack, I had to spend Christmas in the hospital. No big deal. I really didn’t expect to see anyone until evening when my family would come in to bring me Christmas dinner. But as I walked out to the hall to take my walk, there stood one of my pastors and his wife. They had taken time out from family to come and see me and others they knew in the hospital. They took the Christ in Christmas to mean sharing their time for the comfort of others. I was thrilled to see them, to say the least.
Personally, I can’t remember a time when I went out of my way to do anything like that on Christmas day. Going to church this Sunday and worshipping with fellow believers would be a privilege not a sacrifice. It is the least thing I could do to keep Christ in Christmas.
God willing, I will be there. I hope you will be too. Praise the Lord for all that He is and does!