While Christmas is not a global holiday, some nations with small Christian communities allow secular observances of the occasion, such as giving gifts, Christmas trees, and hanging stockings. In places where Christianity is widely practised, celebrations may include presents, sending cards, decorating with lights, trimming of trees, candy canes, carol singing, plays, religious programs, and midnight Mass. These things accessorise the holiday and make for festive family gatherings. According to Psychology Today*, giving gifts to others makes us happy, carol singing in a group promotes social bonding, and thoughts associated with Christmas have been noted to increase brain activity in the sensory-motor cortex. In other words, these activities are working for our good!
Christmas is the most popular holiday in the US, with a resounding 85% of Americans in annual observance. Celebrating the birth of Jesus seems to be trendy. Certainly, God intended it for a higher cause than what we are accustomed to in this century. Isaiah 9:6 states: “For to Us a Child is born, to Us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah’s prophetic birth announcement was received with great joy, and the story played out for 33 years before reaching its climax.
During the holiday, merchants are full throttle to razzle-dazzle shoppers with unbeatable deals for Christmas gift ideas. Therefore, believers’ eyes must be wide open to look beyond the hoopla of commercial predators, to the end of the historical drama of Jesus’ life. Nailed to a cross, barely breathing, John 19:30 records that, ‘Jesus said, “It is finished.” Then He bowed His head and died.’ His words declared that He accomplished what He set out to do. But wait, there’s more. A few days later, He rose out of the grave, as you well know, and handed the baton to His followers.
I submit that it is the Church’s assignment to walk after Jesus’ pattern by preaching the Gospel and advancing the Kingdom of God throughout the earth.
Acts 10:38 says, ‘And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.’ He is no longer a new-born in a manger, but the soon coming King of glory, expecting to find the Church without spot or blemish. Therefore, how do we keep Christ in Christmas, and disallow materialism and paganism from demeaning the glorious majesty of our Saviour’s birth?
The Word instructs us in the way we should go. Take heed to 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6, ‘For you are all children of the light and children of the day. We don’t belong to the night nor to darkness. This is why we must not fall asleep, as the rest do, but keep wide awake and clearheaded.’ We must ‘stay woke’, as they say, and not be distracted by 50” televisions at super reduced prices…
Below are a few affirmations that may help with keeping Christ in CHRISTmas:
“I will seek God’s Kingdom first and His way of doing things, keeping Christ in CHRISTmas.”
“I will allow Holy Spirit to direct my gift-giving and not spend wildly, keeping Christ in CHRISTmas.”
“I will focus on the needs and wants of others, more than myself, keeping Christ in CHRISTmas.”
“I will donate my time and/or money to charities that serve the disadvantaged, keeping Christ in CHRISTmas.”
“I will share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with family, friends, and strangers, keeping Christ in CHRISTmas.”
“I will offer the prayer of faith to those who are in need of healing, keeping Christ in CHRISTmas.”
“I will invite someone to Christmas dinner who would otherwise be alone, if led by Holy Spirit, keeping Christ in CHRISTmas.”
There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, so do not cancel Christmas. Your family needs the fellowship, so enjoy it because Jesus is the reason for the season. However, be sure to include His priorities! Merry CHRISTmas and Happy New Year!
Written by: Marnita Coleman