Today as I embarked on the madness that is “Black Friday”, I began to ask myself about the world’s motives pertaining to Christmas. People fight each other for the best deals, get no sleep to be the first ones at the door, and count down the days to when they get to shop for their “special someone”. Literally, people die and are trampled (and trample each other) in these early morning escapades. Seriously, what’s the point? The world has manipulated a joyous celebration into a Hallmark holiday right under our noses, and we have allowed it. This is, after all, a birthday celebration for Christ, is it not? Yet, we give each other gifts… that’s like walking into your friend’s birthday party and not bringing him/her a gift, but a gift for every guest.
Kind of weird, right?
[Before you start calling me a Scrooge, I need to point out that this is my most favorite time of year—and exactly why God gave me this revelation.]
I honestly believe the gift giving concept is good—notice I say the concept and not the execution of said idea. From the moment we enter into this world, we’re showered with gifts and presents, from Halloween candy to tooth fairy money to Easter baskets to Valentines. Christmas is no exception, as we have jolly ole’ St. Nicholas to bring us gifts via chimney route and reindeer travel.
This is where I make my point—children are so quick to believe in these fake holiday figures. Their innocence and vulnerability makes them so trusting at a young age, and the world goes and fills their minds with false realities, only to turn around and say “Just kidding, it’s been your parents all along”.
Let’s hear what God has to say about this…
“At that time the followers came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and stood the child before his followers. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you must change and become like little children. Otherwise, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven. The greatest person in the kingdom of heaven is the one who makes himself humble like this child. Whoever accepts a child in my name accepts me. If one of these little children believes in me, and someone causes that child to sin, it would be better for that person to have a large stone tied around the neck and be drowned in the sea.” Matthew 18:1-6
Okay, I know that’s a lot of scripture, but bear with me for a bit…
What would happen if kids waited anxiously in their beds for Jesus’ arrival the way they wait for Santa?
What would happen if instead of “The Night Before Christmas” being read, the Gospel of Luke was read?
What would happen if the world didn’t spend a dime on gifts and told each other about Jesus? Is he not the greatest gift of all?
By filling the lives of children with “stuff”, aren’t we just filling them with sin? By putting these philosophies in their little minds, aren’t we robbing them of Jesus? All I’m saying is that if the people of this world were as excited for Jesus as they were for Christmas, I think everyday would feel like Christmas Day. All I can think of is everyone running around saying “What are you doing to prepare? Hey, did you know that Jesus is coming soon? I’m going to look my best, give my best, and love my best until that day!”
We have to prepare! We need to clean the inside of our houses and decorate them with the gifts of the Father. We need to shine our lights brightly and proudly on the exterior of our homes. We need to be warm, inviting and loving to all we meet. We need to tell them that Jesus loves them, just as we say “Merry Christmas”. We need to have the faith and excitement of the children because in reality, we are children.
Are we willing to risk breaking traditions to bring transformation?
So all I’m asking for this Christmas season is that you remember WHY we celebrate and WHO we celebrate. Just as you loved waking up Christmas morning to go open your present, wake up every day and run to God and say, “What do you have for me today, Daddy?”