Before the kids had time to sink their teeth into Halloween candy, Christmas tunes were blasting through the radio waves. What? Really? Even my 10-year old daughter was shocked at this. With a piece of Halloween candy in her hand she gasped, “Mom, why are they playing Christmas music so early? Don’t those people know what month it is?”
Can’t a child enjoy their Tootsie rolls and suckers for a little bit before thinking about candy canes already?
Before we barely finished displaying our homes with fall decorations, stores were already dragging the Christmas decor into the aisles. Before the last pumpkins and mums were purchased, the ornaments and Christmas trees were already in place. Political commercials for the upcoming election day were intertwined with those that pushed us to start Christmas shopping.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we live in a society that is driven by materialism.
The sooner we can get people thinking about Christmas, the sooner they will start to shop. And the sooner they begin to shop, the sooner more money will be made.
It’s probably not too far-fetched to imagine that at some point in the near future we’ll find ourselves taking down 4th of July flags only to replace them the next day with Christmas lights.
I don’t know about you, but as a follower of Jesus my heart grieves at this materialistic attitude we’re surrounded by. For many, Thanksgiving traditions of lingering over coffee and dessert with family have expanded to a quick bite only to dash out the door to be first in line… all for the sake of a good deal. Black Friday is no longer on Friday anymore! What are they calling it now?
If we aren’t careful, it’s easy to allow the greediness of this world to trample upon the gift of grace that was so lavishly poured out on us.
With that said, I’m taking a stand. I’ll not be celebrating Christmas this year. I’m celebrating Christ….not the commercialized Christmas our culture has embraced. I’m celebrating the gift of salvation….not the grasping of more stuff.
1. Instead of getting caught up in the RUSH……I’m going to slow down and relish the REST of my Redeemer.
2. Instead of going on a rampage to SPEND……I’m going to be still and SEEK the face of my Savior.
3. Instead of allowing stress to lead to PANIC……I’m going to pursue the promise of His PEACE.
4. Instead of filling my trunk with too many PRESENTS, I’m going to empty myself to be filled with more of His PRESENCE.
Please don’t misunderstand my words. I am not putting the Scrooge label on my forehead by any means. I will put up a Christmas tree, shop for presents, and engage in festivities with family and friends.
But I resolve to not get caught up in how our culture defines Christmas. If it doesn’t truly involve Jesus Christ, then don’t call it Christmas. Call it the Holiday Season, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, or Winter Celebration. Any of those will do just fine.
But for the sake of our Savior…..don’t call it Christmas if you intend to leave out Christ.
What about you? Where is your heart on this, dear friend? Do you find yourself getting caught up with the motions instead of the message? Do you feel overwhelmed with the count-down to Christmas or are you truly excited about the celebration of Jesus coming to earth?
My prayer is that we will trade the urge to rush, spend and panic for the desire to rest, seek and pursue the peace of Jesus Christ…the real meaning of Christmas.
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Blessings to you!