When I look at the Christian home and ask myself how are we celebrating Christmas that is different from the world in contrast to the way the world does Christmas I see no distinction. Let me paint a picture of how the world celebrates Christmas and I hope you will see the eerie similarities it has with many Christian households.
The world sees Christmas as a time when we have to be kind and loving towards one another and be “of good cheer.” For the secularist Christmas is more of an excuse to explain obnoxious consumerism and they use it as a vice to justify their means. Christmas is time where we are forced either by choice or against our will to try and reconcile burned over bridges that once crossed between the relationships of Brother or Sister, Father or Mother, Grandparent or Grandchild. Christmas is especially a time of giving and self-sacrifice even if you do not do it out of good intentions. I always hear this from adults my age, “sign, I have to go be with my family.” Which translated means “I have to do something that makes me feel uncomfortable, go through the motions, and really I would rather be pulling my teeth out.”
Maybe this happens in your family. I know a few family members who would not otherwise give a care about me in the entire year until Christmas comes. All of sudden when December enters full conception after Thanksgiving they change. It appears to them that there is some moral obligation to do what is right because it is Christmas. “Get the Christmas cards, and the phone book, open up the address book, and don’t forget the tree.”
Christmas comes around once every year for both the Christian and secularist the difference is that if you are a Christian then you never stop practicing the act of loving one another. If you are a Christian every day is an opportunity to reconcile relationships. Every day is a day in which we die to ourselves and give in self-sacrifice our time and money. If you profess to know the gospel’s transforming power you make time for the family, a precious institution that God established to resemble the triune relationship of God. Listen to me Christian; this is not the meaning of Christmas. Christmas has only emphasized what you need to do every single day of your life. The only reason why it appears foreign to you is because you do not live your life like this the other 11 months of the year. Let me tell you Christian, Christmas is not a moral obligatory excuse for you to do what is right because if it is then you do not know Christ.
Remember the words of Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Gal. 2:20).” Dear Christian if you know Christ then you will love like Christ every day because Christ is inside you. You will serve others out of your time and money and do what is morally right not because the world tells you to but because you love the things that God loves and you hate the things that God hates.
Moreover, let me just add there is something amazing about Christmas. It comes and people are transformed. It is only a temporary transformation a superficial level of indifference that melts in the furnace of adversity. That is not true transformation that is a hypocrite! Christian tests yourselves and see that you are the seed that was cast on the fertile soil. Or do you find that when the joys of life come they choke you in the thorns of prosperity or you dry up because the sun of persecution kills you because you were really found to be among the rocks where the soil was not deep (Matt. 13:1-9).
The only transforming power in the whole world is not found in the Mountains of China, or the fountains of India, nor the stars in the heaven but the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:16). Let us be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus the triune God came in the form of a man, born to die for sinners who hate him, in order that those who would seek to put Jesus on the cross and drive the nails in themselves would be saved.