HEY, IT'S JESUS' BIRTHDAY!
Traditionally, there’s no other season that evokes such wonder, love, and adoration. We can almost hear the angels singing and proclaiming, “Good tidings of great joy!” For it’s “The Birthday of the King” – our King, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Have you heard the Christmas carol, “The Birthday of a King”? Here it is in part:
In the little village of Bethlehem
There lay a child one day
And the sky was bright with a holy light
O'er the place where Jesus la
Alleluia, O how the angels sang
Alleluia, how it rang
And the sky was bright with a holy light
'Twas the birthday of a King.
May our hearts swell at the sublime simplicity and the glorious majesty of that hour! If we look further beneath the surface, the picture becomes even more breathtaking. Just think, when God sent His Son from heaven to earth, it marked a divine declaration of war against Satan’s dominion. The Incarnation of Jesus Christ struck the kingdom of darkness with such force that even hell’s gates were doomed to fall. The god of this world would suffer ultimate defeat.
Christ’s birth changed everything. Not only did it divide history into BC and AD, but it is the hinge upon which the door of human destiny swings. It brought eternal hope, light, truth, and deliverance – “Long lay the world in sin and error pining, until He appeared, and the soul felt its worth!” Oh, come let us adore Him!
The world may ignore or outright reject Christ, but surely He should be able to count on His loved ones (His Church) to lavish love and devotion upon Him during His birthday season. Unfortunately, Christmas has become a confusing time with various views. I remember someone grumbling that Christians were trying to push Jesus into Christmas. To this person, Christmas is a secular holiday, period. Times have certainly changed from a time when the Christian worldview dominated our culture. Almost gone from our stores are sacred Christmas influences that once were everywhere.
I have always liked the portion of Romans 12:1-2 in the J.B. Phillips version that says, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold. . .” Sadly, it seems that much of today’s Christian culture is doing just that. We feel the “squeeze” and are letting the worldly culture press us into conformity.
Here's an example: Many of us who worship Christ also give homage to Santa Clause. We put our kids on Santa’s lap and perhaps unwittingly teach them to worship him more than the true God and His Son Jesus. I was doing research and strangely came to a website for witches. It astonished me. I hate to think these people can see the reality of this issue better than we can. The article is entitled, “Secular Santa Claus is Coming to Town: What’s so Christian about Santa Claus?” I’m giving you the first and last paragraphs. I believe this should convict us all:
First Paragraph: “Christians treat Christmas as a Christian holiday, and it certainly started out that way, but we can tell a lot about the real nature of holidays by how they are represented in popular culture. The most common, popular, and recognized symbol for Christmas today isn’t an infant Jesus or even a manger scene, but Santa Claus. It’s Santa who graces all the ads and decorations, not Jesus. Santa Claus is not, however, a religious figure or symbol — Santa is an amalgam of a little bit of Christianity, a little bit of pre-Christian paganism, and a whole lot of modern, secular mythmaking.”
Last Paragraph: “So long as Christians continue to focus on Santa Claus coming to town to deliver gifts rather than on the birth of their savior, they will remain part of what they see as the problem. Dispensing with, or even just limiting, the role of Santa Claus and other secular elements of Christmas probably won’t be easy, but that only demonstrates just how deeply enmeshed in secular culture Christians have become. It also reveals just how much of their own religious Christmas they have abandoned in favor of secular celebrations. In effect, the harder it is the more this shows that they need to do it if they want to claim that Christmas is religious rather than secular. In the meantime, the rest of us can enjoy Christmas as a secular holiday if we want.”
Can you believe that? Help us, Lord! We need to come to terms with our feeble spirituality and invite the Holy Spirit to empower us and show us the way. Let’s pray that in this hour God will enable us to be transformers, not conformers!
Finally, let’s revel a bit in the singular beauty, majesty, love, and power of Jesus Christ. When we look to the heavens and see the stars, let’s reflect upon that holy night when Christ was born. Let’s marvel at how He humbly stooped to enter our world and lay down His life for us. And all this to lift us, flawed mortals, to heaven’s glory.
Throughout the eons, the impact of Christ’s light and truth on the world keeps fanning out. While Christians have failings, and the Church has issues, Christ does not. His Gospel is not failing; the Christian faith is not dying. Yes, it may be doing some relocating, but it cannot die. It ever expands.
Let's be part of that expanding glory. Will you pray about your part to play? Please pray that salvation touches people throughout the world, including in our own families and neighborhoods. Let’s let the beauty of Christmas saturate our hearts; let’s praise Him until we are aglow with His light! Let’s shine for Him, offering people words of hope along with a cheerful “Merry Christmas.” So many people in today’s world have been robbed. They have no idea who Jesus is or about the Christmas story. We can tell them. Let's do it!
He is worthy! Amen!
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HERE'S A CHRISTMAS MOVIE (TRUE STORY) THAT I HOPE YOU CAN SEE:
Trailer here: https://www.iheardthebellsmovie.com/
My related Christmas article: https://bit.ly/3WkoJQn