Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Blessing.

 Merry Christmas! What wonderful words to be able to say. This time of year, so many people get depressed, stressed, grumpy, or withdrawn it is unbelievable. Some for good reason. Maybe Christmas brings up painful memories. Maybe they don't have the family or friends to spend the holidays with that they would like. Maybe Christmas puts too heavy a financial burden on some people.

Whatever the reason, a lot of people don't find Christmas to be so "Merry."

I am reminded of Charlie Brown desperately trying to "get" the Christmas Spirit. His compassion for a sickly tree was despised. His disdain for an overly commercialized production misunderstood. And his frustration at the competition over Christmas Spirit won by Snoopy was too much for him to take.

I truly hope and pray that you, reader, are not one of them. And if you are, here are some reasons that you shouldn't be.

Christmas is about Christ. Yeah, I know that you already know that. But let it sink in for a moment. The world has been lost in sin, without hope, without direction and God chose to intervene.

God CHOSE to help mankind and his Son Jesus was the single greatest gift that was ever given. Think about these verses of scripture for a moment.

Philippians 2:5-8

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus was and still is the second part of the Godhead. The Son is the second person of the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit. The Son was in Eternity with the Father and Spirit and chose to humble himself, set aside the benefits of deity, and come to earth as a human being. A man of a lower social order. He deserved to be worshiped and adored by all creation, yet He chose to come into our world and live as one of us so he could die a condemned man on a cursed tree.

That is what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown. So remove all of the hustle and bustle, the gift buying, the crowds, the decorations, the family gatherings, and you still have one of the most monumentous occasions to celebrate that mankind has ever seen. If you understand the enormity of what Christmas means, then you can get into the Christmas spirit, the Spirit of Worshiping the God who loves you, without needing any egg nog, carols, lights, or wrapping paper. (Though, I must admit, egg nog may have been given by God to help celebrate the birth of the King of Kings. A drink worthy of majesty.)

This year, think about those who are able to celebrate Christmas without all of the social acceptance that we here in America enjoy. Persecuted Christians in the Muslim world who celebrate under threat of imprisonment, persecution and loss.

But they still celebrate.

I don't write this to make anyone feel guilty or to dismiss the difficulty that some have during the Christmas season. I am writing this to help us all see that Christmas should be a time of worship and thanks for the fact that God sent his Son into the world to save sinners. Of whom I am chief.

In order to get a view of what Christmas is truly about, think about the lyrics to this popular Christmas song.

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christmas is about the Gospel. It is about God saving mankind from himself. The long march toward the cross started the day the Eternal Son stepped out of heaven and into creation as a child who would grow to a man. As a man, he would offer himself on the cross as a sacrifice for sins. 

That is what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown. 


Sarah said...

Found this post through Dave Ramsey's facebook page. Love your post. Two of my brothers are refusing to celebrate Christmas, because there is no command in the Bible to celebrate, and that it is actually a pagan, satanic holiday. Making Christmas really heavy and hard for me. Thank you for your refreshing post.

Roger Smith said...

Thank you Sarah. I will be praying that your family will find a way to celebrate the greatness of our God and the gift of His Son with you this Christmas.