by: Dr. Allen Domelle
We are just a couple days away from Christmas, and if you are like my family, we are enjoying our traditions of Christmas lights, food, candy and time with each other. Christmas seems to become that time of the year when many families actually do spend a little more time with each other. Once everything comes to a screeching halt, the family actually has time to enjoy each other. Maybe that is one of the reasons Christmas brings fond memories to most.
However, with the commercialization of Christmas, the reason for Christmas is often lost. Many let the true reason of Christmas get lost in their selfish mindsets that make it all about themselves and what they get instead of the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas for many has become about how many presents they get, and did they get what they wanted. It is proven by the $465 billion Americans spend on Christmas gifts and goodies. Yes, I believe the commercialization of Christmas is purposeful so that our minds are taken off Christ; however, Christians need to stay focused on the true purpose of Christmas. Three things come to mind when I think of Christmas.
Christ is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Christmas. Every Christmas, I am reminded of Isaiah 9:6 which says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Matthew 1:23 also comes to my mind where it says, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Yes, the true reason we celebrate this time of year is because Jesus came to Earth to die for the sins of mankind. Amongst all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, we must never forget that the purpose is to celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
One of the reasons we say, “Merry Christmas” is because it was a joyful time when Christ was born. It was joyful because it gave us hope that the payment for our sins had finally come to make the final payment. Christians shouldn’t be afraid to say the words, “Merry Christmas.” It is not, “Happy Holidays” or “Happy Hanukah” because that means there is someone else who can pay for sins. The reason we say, “Merry Christmas” is because Christ is the reason we celebrate this season. Don’t let the commercialization take your attention from the very reason we have Christmas.
Family is the second thing that comes to mind when I think of Christmas. There is no doubt many will enjoy this Christmas season with family, and I think you should. As busy as my schedule has been throughout the years, I have always stayed home for Christmas. We don’t travel anywhere; we stay home because we want to enjoy time as a family. My family has just made it a custom that if family wants to spend time together, they are going to have to come visit us because that is the one holiday we have chosen to stay home.
Let me encourage you to enjoy your family. Put aside your differences and just enjoy being with family. Paul put it this way in Ephesians 4:2, “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;” Don’t let sibling rivalry or differences ruin this season. If your parents are still alive, enjoy them. There are many who can no longer call their parents because they are not alive. If you put aside your differences, you can enjoy this Christmas season with family.
Church is the third thing that comes to mind when I think of Christmas. Every few years, Christmas happens to be on a Sunday. This should be an exciting moment because we actually get to celebrate the birth of Jesus on a church day. What I don’t understand is how many churches have closed down because it is Christmas. REALLY? It’s the birth of Christ, and we are staying away from the place where we celebrate Him. Pardon me! This is stupid! Can you imagine someone throwing a birthday party for you, but instead of coming to your party, they “celebrated your birthday” by staying home to spend time with “family” and exchange gifts between themselves? This is what is going to happen with many churches this Christmas season. Let me remind you again; Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ.
The main excuse as to why churches cancel their services on Sunday is so they can spend time with their family. SERIOUSLY! Is Christmas about family, or is it about Christ? Whatever happened to Matthew 6:33 which says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” If you put the LORD first, He will give you a great time with family. Yes, you should enjoy time with your family, but not at the expense of “forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is…” (Hebrews 10:25) My friend, let me encourage you to be faithful to church. If you want to find my family this great Christmas Sunday, you will find us at church both Sunday morning and night. What better place to celebrate the birth of Christ than at church!
With all this said, let me wish you and your family on behalf of my family a Merry Christmas. I truly hope that Christ is lifted up with your family and that special memories are made as you spend time together at home and church.