Christmas time………….what does that mean to you?
To some, it is a reminder of some type of pain and loss. To some, it is a time of intense loneliness. To some, it is a time of financial stress. To some, it is a time of busyness. To some, it is a bother.
Christmas can easily take on the meaning of our circumstances – our history, whether bad or good. If something bad happened or does happen at Christmas time; that can become the meaning of Christmas to us. When this occurs, Christmas becomes something “bad” or “inconvenient.” Christmas can seem to be ever “evolving” in its meaning – colored by the events of a “happening” or by the definition of the society we live in.
I encourage you this Christmas to move beyond your history and circumstances and look at Christmas from a different viewpoint. I know that it is not easy, but step outside yourself for a moment and try.
Christmas is not defined by what happened to you during this season. It is not defined by our societal pressures. If you want to know the true meaning of Christmas, you must return to that original Christmas eve to find it. Christmas has never been about giving gifts but about receiving one. This is not a season to experience financial and relational pressure to make someone happy or to mourn a loss of some kind. This is a time to receive!
Repeat after me: Christmas is about receiving!!!
The folks at that original Christmas understood this. No matter how the message of Christ’s birth was sent to them, whether by angels, an astral anomaly, or by the Holy Spirit, the early Christmas celebrants knew that it was all about God’s gift to them. The challenge that they faced was found in the wonder of it all! After the staggering truth hit home for them that God in His infinite wisdom and love had actually given them His own Son, all that was left was for them to humbly receive the gift and to rejoice!
The beauty of Christmas is not that it denies the pain, loss, and confusion of the world but that it transcends it. If you allow Christmas to become “defined” by your pains, then you cut yourself off from its majestic power to free you from the very pain you’ve experienced.
There is one inescapable fact about Christmas:
When you look into the manger and see the Baby lying there, you cannot deny the fact that that Baby – no matter how wondrous and beautiful – was born to die for you. Jesus is a gift of deliverance from past sin, present bondage, and future desolation. That gift never loses its power – but you must receive it as it is given from God!
In Luke, chapter two, we see a man named Simeon entering the temple to worship God. When Simeon saw the Child Jesus, he took Him in his arms and said:
“For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You prepared before the face of all peoples. A Light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”
Translation: Jesus: a gift of deliverance and salvation given by God to all people. A Light that will pierce all darkness. A treasure which cannot be lost…..that will transcend all loss…..the Friend who opens the door for those who are outside looking in – bringing them home.
When you return to that original Christmas, you understand the true meaning of Christmas. Don’t allow the temporary pains and the pride of this world to steal the eternal gift of God to you!
Christmas is for you. Just like Simeon take the gift into your arms and make it your own!
Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15