I wish they would skip Christmas and go right from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day and the football games.
Christmas is a bust. The retailers, corporations, airlines, malls and online marketers have put the grinch in Christmas for me.
Groups such as the ACLU, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, and the Americans for the Separation of Church and State and other godless groups engage in all-out assaults on Christmas. Their goal: take Christ out of Christmas. Some well-meaning churches wind up in court because they display nativity scenes. They rail against anything Jesus. They sanitize the true purpose of worship and praise.
Nowadays Christmas seems to be just a holiday not unlike Lincoln’s birthday or Groundhog Day. Christmas in our day is nothing more than a couple of weeks each year to make money. Entire industries depend on the month of December to determine their profits for the year. Am I against capitalism? Certainly not. It is the hallmark of our society. It is a way of doing business envied by countries around the world.ties
But capitalism, or our way of doing business, has helped destroy Christmas. I know: churches still have Christmas programs and churches declare the true meaning of Christmas. Pastors craft wonderful messages that poignantly remind us that the coming of our Savior is the reason for the season. My blogging friends compose wonderful posts about celebrating the birth of our Savior.
And for families this time of year also provides a good excuse for families to gather for fellowship and food. We see relatives we only speak to once a year. Some family black sheep seem civil, even cordial, at those once-a-year get-togethers. We bake cookies and pies and roast turkeys and fix cranberry sauce, binge and then snack all day. Then we complain about how bad we feel.
But where is Jesus? He’s not in Christmas as I see it. At least He’s not in Christmas the way we “celebrate” it today. I’m tired of the decorations and the clatter and the pretty wrapped packages and the eggnog and the traffic and the cookies and the parties and the boring relatives and the expectations and the masks people wear and the “happy holidays” and the pretense and the phony well-wishers.
Do you want to know how I want to celebrate Christmas? I want to go to those fields where the shepherds were staying. It was peaceful there that night. The sheep were bedded down. The shepherds were minding their own business. Probably engaged in quiet conversation about their sheep and their day and their plans for tomorrow.
I want to be startled by the angel telling me that this night my Savior is born, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. I want to be awed by the sky suddenly ablaze with thousands, maybe millions, of angels praising God and singing. I want to walk with those shepherds into Bethlehem following that star. I want to find that lowly manger and Mary and Joseph. I want to behold that sweet precious baby. I want to gaze upon that teenage girl who just delivered the child that will one day deliver her. I want to spend my entire night just being with Jesus, marveling in His presence. Leaning over to watch Him sleep.
There is no sound, just my Savior breathing.
It is peace that passeth all understanding.
It is the peace this beautiful child will one day bring to me.
It is my perfect peace.
It is heavenly peace.
It is my Christmas.