This Isn’t Christmas!!! (Part 5)
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.”
Many of us have heard this story dozens of time either on television, radio and especially at church but some of us still miss the point. What is the real meaning of Christmas? What has nothing to do with Christmas? Why do we do what we do during this holiday season? Join us as we explore the meaning of Christmas in our new series “This Isn’t Christmas.”
IV. Saint’s Christmas
I recently read an amazing article that pretty much sums up the way many American Christians spend the Christmas season. What does your family do?
Most American Christians: Celebrating Christmas
- Reflect on the reason for Christmas. If you’re not sure about it or you’re rusty on the background, do some research. In the Bible, you can find the Christmas story in the Gospel according to Luke, Chapters 1 and 2, as well as the Gospel according to Matthew Chapters 1 and 2. Consider reading these chapters aloud as part of your family’s holiday. Ask members of the family for their own impressions of the stories given, to personalize their understanding.
- Invite God to come and celebrate the day with you. Some people choose to do this by attending a Christmas Eve service. Some do it by sitting before the Christmas tree and silently inviting God to just be with them. However you decide to do it, for the Christian, making God a part of your day is vital.
- Choose some activities that you and your friends or family will enjoy and which fit with the meaning of Christmas. Consider preparing some special foods for the poor and needy, visiting people who live alone or have no family close or dropping in to see the sick in the hospital. You might even give handmade gifts to people who aren’t likely to get much this season.
- Spend time with others to celebrate. Gather together at the homes of friends and family, and spend some time in fellowship with others who believe as you do during this special time.
- Give to others. Whether to your family and friends, or to others less fortunate, spend some time this Christmas in giving. We give in remembrance of the gifts of the Magi to the Savior, but at the very heart of it all, recall that we are to give because He first gave to us.
- Spend time quietly being thankful for the gift of Jesus to the world that we celebrate on Christmas. This is the day that Christians have set aside to celebrate the beginning of the greatest gift mankind has ever received. Coming into the Christmas season with a grateful heart is essential if you really want to make the extension from Jesus’s giving of His amazing gift to your giving and receiving.
- Create your own nativity scene. A beautiful way to celebrate Christmas is to create a nativity scene within your house or on your front yard. If you have children, ask them to help you. They will (or might not, it depends) love making the little angels and other figures.
- If you can’t create your own nativity scene, consider attending a Nativity play at your local school or church.
Some Christians spend time doing the aforementioned things during the Christmas season while others tend to go for a more secular celebration. According to our text, there isn’t much embellishment that one can bring to the birth of Jesus Christ. Honoring Him, should be our primary focus. If the Christmas season’s glitz and glamour takes our focus away from honoring Him, then is it helpful or harmful. All too often people today will make this season a occasion for idolatry. They worship the idea of Christmas instead of the God that was born during the Christmas season. What does your family worship? Do you worship the God that was born in flesh for humanity, or do you worship the idea of what Christmas represents? I’m not your judge or jury as you don’t own me nor any other person an explanation. It will be hard to explain to Jesus why you gave others gifts on His birthday. So how do we give Jesus a birthday present?
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.“
- Give Food & Drink To Those Without Food & Drink
- Give Kindness To A Stranger That Everyone Rejects
- Give Clothing To Those That Are Without Clothing For The Weather
- Visit The Sick & Shut-Ins
If we do this to the least of people then we do it to Jesus Christ. Our compassion to others is directly link to our love for Jesus. This Christmas season, focus on helping others and being kind to even to most unbearable person and do it with a heart as if you were doing it God Himself. You will receive a special blessing and a very kind reward in heaven. In our next devotional series will talk about how we can keep Christ in Christmas even when the world says that we can’t. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.