Well, this is that time of year again. The time where religious debates abound with weizenheimers telling you that Jesus was born on this date or that date, anything but December 25th because that’s a pagan holiday. They are convinced that the birth would have occurred on this or that date, feast on the Jewish calendar (as if God were constrained to the Jewish calendar or any calendar for that matter) and even point at you and tell you that you’re going to Hell if you celebrate Christmas on December 25. They totally disregard Paul’s admonition that we aren’t to be caught up with dates, feasts etc. in Romans 14:5-8 . No one knows the date. The Magi didn’t document it. Herod assumed he took care of the problem. No one has found a Shepherds’ journal with the date written down. It could have been in the spring for all we know. I, personally, grew up, before atheists and commercialism took over, celebrating on December 25 and the warmth and regard of an entire nation pausing to give contemplation and recognition of the Savior of the world coming down in human form. But that was then.
Now we have this group and that group trying (and effectively winning) to stop such public displays. Now we live in a time where any public worship, appreciation, display of the sacrifice that God made can be made illegal, punishable by fine, jail, or maybe at some time indefinite detainment. It’s already been shown that if you can show that you truly, truly believe in God you can be locked away in a mental health facility until that problem is “cured”. What times we live in, now, where you can be compelled to worship the creation instead of the Creator. What’s the offense to these people celebrating a baby being born. If you don’t believe it happened, what’s the big deal? You’re smarter, more intelligent, so that should make you more compassionate and tolerant of the ignorant. Yet you make war on celebrating the birth. Such times we live in, and we were warned that they would come.
So, in these times, let’s remember what this season is, what it is for.With fiscal crisis, war and killing abounding, take this time, a time of gentleness and joy and remember that the temporal things are temporary, this won’t last forever. Jesus was born a baby, in humility. He gave up his riches and glory for wet and dirty diapers. He more than likely was laid in a manger made of nothing but sticks in a hollow in the wall, out in public, not the comfy stable we romanticize. He became human for a time to walk among us and experience humanity. And with that, no man can point his finger at God and exclaim, “well, you don’t know what it’s like.”. Yes He does, and more. He grew up to be a man and suffer the cruelest of cruelty, the cruelest of deaths and total abandonment. He came to us to free us from all that enslaves us to these things that are here today and gone tomorrow, and give us a gift of lasting value. Lest anyone forget.
So, in this season of gift giving, in this time of making someone special, how about a gift to God? A gift, for God? Isn’t He the King of a thousand hills? Isn’t he God the provider, not the taker? Is there anything that is worthy to give the King of Kings? What do you give to someone who has everything?
How about yourself? How about putting away all these “things” that distract, take you away? How about admitting to yourself that you are a sinner, repenting of it and accepting God’s free gift to you? In so doing you’ll be giving God the greatest Christmas present you could ever give, all that He ever wanted. By accepting His free gift, you give Him back, yourself. On this day, make God’s day, make my day, cause the angels to rejoice, give Him the gift of you.
Merry Christmas, and enjoy the reason for the season.