Are you celebrating this holiday season? Do you have special traditions in place to gather with family and celebrate something special? I hope you do! I hope you can reconnect with family and friends you haven’t seen in a while, laugh, celebrate, and enjoy the festivities of this season as well as remember those who are gone.
The holiday season comes once a year and is meant to be a time of joy. It has become a season of trees, lights, gifts and laughter, but every attempt has been made to commercialize, sanitize and equalize it to generic, all-inclusive terms that don’t offend anyone or leave anyone out.
I used to be bothered by the removal of the word “Christmas” because this Holy Day has become a secular holiday.
I wasn’t just bothered for myself. Every “Holy Day” being left out and stuffed under the “Happy Holidays” umbrella was being ignored and being called offensive to someone. I’ve never been bothered by someone else’s celebration or tradition. I just want the freedom and ability to rejoice in my own- the Savior’s birth!
This year, though, is different. Happy Holidays doesn’t bother me. It is simply a worldly expression for worldly traditions. There’s nothing wrong with that except that there is so much more! We’re not saved by a holiday or redeemed by tradition. Life, salvation and joy come from Jesus.
As many are gathering around their Holiday Trees, singing Holiday songs and buying Holiday gifts, I’m reminded of some amazing, life-changing, world-changing things…and I can rejoice!
~The shepherds weren’t concerned with decorations or tradition. They simply dropped everything and found their Savior.
~Joseph wasn’t scurrying around buying presents or hanging lights. He was proudly enjoying the growth of his family because of his Savior.
~Mary wasn’t panicked over the amount of cookies she had to bake or cleaning her house for guests. She simply held and loved her baby Son, her Savior.
~The angels weren’t arguing over the politically correct way to proclaim the Good News to all. They simply lit up the night sky and sang about His goodness.
~Baby Jesus wasn’t afraid. He was becoming one of us so He could save us!
That’s Christmas! The beautiful, glorious reminder of a perfect God joining His broken creation to offer a path back to glory.
So, what are you celebrating this time of year? Is it a tradition with trees, lights and music? Happy Holidays! Whatever your tradition, I hope you have a wonderful time with family and enjoy this season of festivities! But please know there is more.
Infinitely, eternally more important, I pray you know the salvation, forgiveness, acceptance and love of the Savior who was born long ago. He left heaven to join His creation and show us the way home.
The Christ, the Savior, the Messiah, has come!
I have a Christmas tree. There is a wreath on my door and lights around my house. If you wish me a “Happy Holiday” I won’t be offended. I will warmly smile and accept your well wishes for a happy holiday time with a grateful heart.
But please don’t be offended when I respond by wishing you a Happy Holiday and a Merry Christmas. I enjoy the festivities and celebration, but I rejoice at the birth of my Savior and I pray you know Him too!
Lord, as we gather and celebrate this time of year with those we love, remind us of the magnitude of Your sacrifice. Help us focus on Your gifts of love, grace, peace and mercy. As so many battle over words and ideas, teach Your followers to love Your Word, Your truth, and to obey Your command to love others. Help us not be offended or drawn into meaningless arguments over meaningless things. Focus our thoughts on eternal things and may we shine Your love onto a hurting, dying world. Thank You Jesus for coming to earth. Thank You Jesus for saving us. May those who don’t yet know You find You this Christmas season. We pray in Your name, Amen!