“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. . . . Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:10-11,14).
Christmas is a time of celebration. We hold nothing back at Christmas. We bedazzle our senses with sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and even the feel of Christmas. Our homes are filled with sparkling trees, attractive decorations, aromas of candles and Christmas food, sounds of Jingle Bells and Frosty the Snowman, delicious cookies and egg nog (well, for some of us). We dress ourselves up in festive clothes. We wrap and hide presents until it is time to put them under the tree. We go crazy with anticipation of Christmas morning and all the gifts we will be getting.
So what is Christmas all about? If getting gifts is what it is all about, or even if family or fun or food is what you focus on, perhaps we’re missing the point. In fact, Christmas would be pointless. All our efforts are wasted. The fun isn’t so fun, especially when gifts break, bellies ache, life gets back to normal. The holiday of Christmas ends much faster than it gets here.
If all that matters at Christmas is the food, the fun, the gifts – what WE get – then Christmas will be unfulfilling and we’ll get past Christmas only to feel that there is always something MORE that we could have gotten. “I COULD have gotten more gifts if Aunt Zilba had come here instead of going to cousin Wilbur’s house,” we say to ourselves. “It would have been a lot more fun,” we think, “if my little brother didn’t have to act like a baby.” The Christmas food runs out, the Christmas music gets put away, roadside decorations disappear (at least at most houses). We are never satisfied. We still feel empty. Christmas is pointless – UNLESS we change our focus.
In Luke 2, we read that angels came and announced to some shepherds that something amazing was happening nearby. “A Savior has been born to you.” Christmas is about Christ the Savior being born for us. We can have a lot of fun and enjoy giving and receiving presents, but all that fun and gifts will leave us unsatisfied if we leave Christ out of the picture. During this holiday season, keep Christ in focus. Celebrate Jesus. Jesus came to give us eternal life through the gift of himself for us. Jesus was born, lived, and died on a cross to save us, to give us life when we accept him as our Savior. That is the most important gift we can receive this Christmas.
So enjoy your Christmas, enjoy the gifts, enjoy the food and fun, enjoy getting together with family. But all of that will leave you unsatisfied and unfulfilled if you leave Christ out of your celebration. If self (gifts for ME) is the focus, you will be disappointed when Christmas is over. If Christ Jesus is the focus, you will be energized and excited to go on living each day for a Savior who willingly gave his life for you. And the gifts and time with family will have greater meaning too when they are put into the perspective of the GIFT God gave you through the birth of His Son Jesus. Thank God for this greatest gift.