As we come upon the Christmas Season, there are many reactions to the celebration of Christmas for Christians. Some go all out decorating, eating, partying, buying presents, and living it up. Some attempt to avoid it altogether usually because of the over-consumerism or the reality that Jesus wasn’t likely born in December. Others find a middle ground somewhere between these extremes. So for those who really do love Jesus, how should Christmas be celebrated?
1. Exploit the season as an opportunity to talk about God with others, particularly your own families. It is really quite amazing how many opportunities occur in this season that we can claim as teachable moments. Our kids can be one great place to have discussion. Co-workers, neighbors and even strangers will often be more open to spiritual talk. Do not be fearful of discussing topics such as Santa, flying reindeer, Christmas trees, lights on the houses, and those grumpy people at Walmart in a truthful, yet thoughtful way. These conversations are opportunities!
2. Worship God, not the holiday warm feelings. One of the surest ways to get disappointed is to try to recreate great memories in order to renew warm fuzzies. When we remember the good times in days past, we often get that warm, fuzzy feeling deep inside. That’s okay, but sometimes we like it so much that we long for it in unhealthy ways. We try to make it happen again. God did create feelings, good ones! But, if we spend the Christmas season in search of re-living warm fuzzies, then we miss an opportunity to worship the living God! So, this year, resolve in your mind to enjoy God in the good things, during the fun times, and even amidst difficulties, and make this season about worshiping Him.
3. Love, in the name of Jesus. If you really want a merry Christmas, then love people! Love is an action. Ask yourself how God might want you to demonstrate His love this season. Remember the old cliché, “it is better to give than to receive?” Well, it’s true. God will knock your socks off with peace and joy when you choose to love in His name. So what are you waiting for, go love your spouse, parents, children, neighbors, co-workers, strangers at the mall, homeless people, or wherever there is a living, breathing human.
4. Bonus principles: Don’t criticize those who won’t say Merry Christmas! Oh, and be nice to retail employees (they are actually real people with feelings). Oh yeah, and definitely be patient with those around you – you are not the most important person in the world … really.
Oh, and have a merry little Christmas
Justin began serving as the pastor at Faith in February of 2013. He is passionate about people having the opportunity to hear the good news about eternal life through Jesus Christ.