But for others, this time of the year is lonely and depressing. We attribute these negative feelings with bad memories, a death in the family, or some other event which has caused us to alienate ourselves from others. “What is so great about Christmas anyway? Why do we have office Christmas parties? What’s so great about exchanging gifts, getting something I don’t want and will never use?” We just want Christmas to go away. The hurt, the pain, and the depressing thoughts are too painful to bear.
Then there are others who can “take it or leave it” when it comes to Christmas and all of the holiday festivities. Using this vein of thought, we will attend the Christmas parties to which we are invited, but we don’t really care if no invitation is extended.
Finally, we who are in Christ reflect on the true meaning of Christmas even while we are able to enjoy the Christmas decorations, parties, goodies, and gift exchanges. While we may have struggles with bad memories from the past, we don’t let those memories get us down. Rather, we focus on what’s important, because Christmas is a big deal to us. For instance, throughout the Old Testament, God promises to send the Messiah to save us (Genesis 3:15; 12:1-3; and on). That’s a big deal. (For more information, read Walter C. Kaiser, JR. Toward an Old Testament Theology.) These promises were given through God’s prophets, priests, angels, and a few kings along the way. Then, at the beginning of the New Testament, God sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for the Messiah to come (Matthew 3; Luke 1, 3; John 1:6-8, 19-34). All of this is a big deal. And then, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Angels proclaimed His birth. Shepherds (Luke 2) came to worship Him at His birth and Magi from the east, traveling a great distance, came and offered gifts to our God and King (Matthew 2). Knowing all of these events to be true, we can’t help but think that our God came to us, being born in a manger, so that He might teach us, die for us, rise again on the 3rd day, thereby redeeming us from our sin so that one day we can be with Him for all of eternity (Please read all four Gospels.). THAT IS A HUGE DEAL!
So please allow me to encourage you during this Christmas season. Jesus loves you. The reason He came was to save you, therefore He is our reason to live. That is a big deal. From my South Hickory Hill Christian Church family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!