Friday, November 12, 2010

The Importance of Celebrating Christmas

Christmas is coming!  How does that make you feel?  Excited?  A great sense of anticipation about all that this season will bring with it?
Or, are you filled with dread?  Oh – how will I ever get everything done?  It brings so much stress and hassle.  And how can I afford all the gifts?  And what will I get for ___?
One store clerk told me as I was checking out of her store “Oh, Christmas.  I just wish it was over!”

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and I think many of us might agree with the store clerk, “Oh, no!, Christmas!”   And that led me to ask the question ‘why?’  What do you think?

I believe it's easy for most of us find ourselves caught up in the hubbub or Christmas and lose sight of the real meaning of the season.    Why should you work at changing this? Or, perhaps better put, should you?  What difference does it make?  I’m busy.  I’m tired, I’m already overwhelmed.  I don’t need one more thing to add to my already stressed out life  What I want to do here is to challange you with the answer to this 'why' question. 

Let me ask you this:  If you don’t who will? 
 If you don’t teach your children, who will?
In Deut. Chapter 6 in the Bible is says “teach these things to your children, when you rise up, when you lie down,, when you sit and when you stand”.  In other words, all the time!  It is to be our lifestyle!  Who’s children are they?  Yours.  Who gave them to you?  God.
What does He expect you to do with them?  Teach them about Him all the time!
It seems to me that if we are going to obey God, one of the most critical things we can do is to take the Christmas season seriously and get to work.  It offers such a wonderful opportunity!  After all, what we are REALLY celebrating is Jesus' birthday.  Consider this:  if Jesus hadn't been born, He couldn't have died for us.  If He didn't die He couldn't have risen from the dead.  If He didn't rise from the dead - we are truly lost and have no hope for the forgiveness of our sins and the salvation of our souls!  I believe we have a LOT to celebrate!
And this teaching needs to go even beyond your family.  A few years ago a friend of mine who was then a public school teacher shared with me about a conversation she overheard with some of her students.  It was Christmas time and a couple of them were talking about Jesus being born – they had heard about this in church.  Another student heard them and asked, “Who is this Jesus dude, anyway?”  He was not being smart or disrespectful, he really didn’t know! 
Another illustration of this comes from one of the church's my husband pastored.  We had a children’s ministry and the majority of children that attended were from unchurched homes.  We  asked, ‘you’ve heard the story of David and Goliath, right?"  Or, what are the 10 commandments?"  and they had no clue.  How would they? 
Now if you extrapolate this a bit, it is easy to see that soon the majority of people in our country are not even going to know about Jesusl  Unless we teach our children and grandchildren and they teach their children, etc., just as the Bible instructs us – others are not going to know.  This is a very serious situation.   
So please, dear friends, take this Christmas season seriously.  Take every opportunity to point your children, your family members, friends, acquaintances (basically anyone you can get your hands on!)
to Jesus - the Light of the World whose birthday we are privilaged to celebrate!
FYI, for any of you that are in the Michiana area, I will be doing a Making Christmas Meaningful presentation on Wed. evening, Dec. 1st.  You are welcome but you MUST register.  Contact me at and I'll sign you up.  There will be some helpful items available for purchase at this event.  If you are  not in the area but would like to know what items are available, email me at the above address and I'll get the information to you.
Blessings to you all.