“He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God…” (John 1:11-13)
I’m a little surprised I haven’t seen it yet, although we only have a few more days before it’s Christmas. Usually, by this time, I’ve seen at least one or two bumper stickers or signs somewhere proclaiming the need to “Keep Christ in Christmas.” I’m certain I’ll see it at least once before the weekend is over.
The idea of having a Christ-centered Christmas is logical to me, but I suspect it is, at best, a nice sentiment for most people who encounter such messages. My hope is that sayings like this and others like it, e.g., “Wise men still seek Him”point some hungry souls to the good news of Jesus Christ. Still, I suspect most people who see these signs will just go on about their business without further thought. Why should we expect that people today are any different than they were on that night when He was born or when He walked the streets of Nazareth or Jerusalem or when He went to the cross?
It’s true; some shunned and persecuted Him, but most people were just tuned-out to Him. He was neither positive nor negative for most folks; He was neutral and therefore of no significance. Is it likely that only a few shepherds and three astronomers from a foreign land were the only ones who saw this blazing astronomical event in the cosmos announcing the birth of the Savior? I’m not sure how they interpreted that, but the bottom-line is that He was not recognized as being meaningful to the lives of most people. How is it different today?
Many people will participate in the Christmas celebration, getting festive, blowing the electric bill by decorating their homes in many-colored lights, stretching the budget to purchase gifts for family members and others, and attending parties. Still, the focus will not be on Him. Some people will even make a pilgrimage to a church service on Christmas day, but perhaps more out of a sense of tradition than a desire to join others in worship.
Am I sticking a pin in your bubble or raining on your parade? That’s not my intent. My intent is to suggest that those who are most likely to keep Christ in Christmas are those who keep Christ in their everyday lives and who don’t require an official holiday to do it. It is they who will honor Him on Christmas day because they desire to do that every day. Keeping Christ in Christmas is not a sentiment for them; it is congruent with the new life they have found in Him.
If you really want Christ to be in Christmas, you can start by asking Him to be Christ in you…whether for the first time or in renewal of your faith.
© Byron L. Hannon, 2022. All rights reserved unless otherwise noted.