House. I actually heard, on tv, the word “Christmas” several times!
What we call “the holidays” has little to do with “Christmas.” It’s important to
understand this since the heart and soul of the original world-shattering
event has been lost. Here are some differences between “Christmas” and the
#1 – Christmas has nothing to do with shopping. I’m not against shopping. I like to go to the mall with Linda and look around. I like the crowds and the lights and the music and the candy. Yet all these things have NOTHING to do with Christmas. What, then, is Christmas about? There’s a big clue in the word itself. Christmas has to do with “Christ.”
What does that mean? The word “Christ” means “anointed King.” Jesus is “the
Christ,” the anointed King. “Christ” is the Greek word for the Hebrew word
“Christmas” = Messiah has come.
#2 – Christmas has nothing to do with gift-giving. But what about the wise men who brought gifts? They came after Jesus was born. They did bring gifts to honor Jesus’ birth. They did not go shopping to buy gifts to give one another. Is it wrong to do that? I don’t think so. I love giving gifts to my family. But giving gifts to one another has NOTHING to do with Christmas. Except that, in Jesus, God gave a great Gift to all humanity. For that Gift, I remain eternally grateful. “
Christmas” = A Gift, from God, to us.
#3 – Christmas has nothing to do with tree-decorating. Is it wrong to have a Christmas tree? I don’t think so. I like decorating the tree every year. I like the lights, especially old-fashioned large multi-colored ones. But decorated trees have NOTHING to do with Christmas. Read the original Christmas story in both Matthew and Luke and
see for yourself. There were no trees or lights or tinsel. And, it didn’t smell like fresh-cut pine.
“Christmas” = the birth of God’s Son, who would eventually be crucified on a tree.
#4 – Christmas has nothing to do with snow. When first-century Jews hoped for a
Messiah (a “Christ”), not one of them was dreaming of a white Christmas. Those
ancient people were under great political oppression. They could care less if it snowed or not.
#5 – Christmas has nothing to do with the economy. I have friends who are local
retailers, and I hope they do well. I like a stable American economy. But Christmas has NOTHING to do with a consumer economy. The angels were not rejoicing because Christmas sales were up as a result of the Christ being born. Get this: God’s Son was born into radical poverty. Mary ended up singing about how God would now finally help the poor and the hungry and the marginalized and the oppressed.
“Christmas” = the beginning of the “Great Reversal,” where the proud, mighty, and rich are brought down and the poor, hungry, and lowly are exalted. (See Luke 1:46-55, e.g.)
I like the holidays. They remind me of times with my parents and brother when I was growing up. And times Linda and I had with our sons. They remind Linda and I of a son of ours, David, who died, which made one holiday season not so jolly.
I like the holidays, but I love Jesus. When I became a follower of Jesus I left a life of
drug and alcohol abuse forever. I doubt I’d be alive today if not for Jesus. Jesus still fills my life, now more than ever as I grow older. This time of the year is yet another opportunity to experience and encounter and think about the Christ, my Savior, and your’s too.
“Christmas” = love, worship, and adoration of Christ the Lord, King, Savior, Redeemer, Rescuer, Bondage-Breaker, Lamb of God, Revolutionary, promised Messiah, my Lord and my God.