Christmas season is the one time of year when most people are either totally engaged with the festive occasion or are refusing to have anything to do with it. While many of the reasons may vary, a common one for denying celebration is because some of us just aren’t in the mood for Christmas.
Many Christians carry a deep, anguishing hurt because a loved one has passed on or has moved far away, which has left a void in the aching heart. The memories of past Christmas’s flood our thoughts and control our emotions as we endeavour to imagine celebrating Christmas without them. It hurts. So, we hide behind our tears and we decide that there won’t be any celebration this year – or maybe ever again – because it’s not the same without that missing person.
However, Christmas for Christians is not about us. Christmas is about Jesus. It’s about celebrating the birth of the Son of God who came from Heaven to save us from our sin. It’s about giving our Heavenly Father worship and praise, thanksgiving and honor for sustaining His promise to us by sending a Savior who would become the Lamb of God and die in our place and take on the punishment for our sins.
“Pilate therefore said to Him, ’Are You a king then?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’” …………. John 18:37
We are saved because of the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross at Calvary. If Jesus hadn’t been born we would not be forgiven and we would not have a home in Heaven to go to. We would not have the hope of ever being free from this sinful world and from the punishment that is about to come upon it. If Jesus hadn’t come, we would still be lost in sin and headed for hell.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” … John 3:16-17
If our loved ones who have passed on were Christians then they are with Jesus now, and what better life could there be for them? Eternity with the Lord is what we all strive for and it’s what we all live for. Those Christians who have gone on would want us all to continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus because now they are with Him and they know first-hand how blessed we are and how blessed we will be when we get to Heaven.
If the one who has gone on was not saved, then we need to give that hurt to God and ask Him for His peace to fill our heart.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” … Philippians 4:7
We celebrate Christmas with our family and friends, and the love and the music and festive occasion makes it a very heart-warming time of year. Families are drawn together and forgiveness is poured out among their members for offences of the past as we give glory to our Lord and sing songs of praise to His Name. It’s the one time of year when hearts truly sense the joy of the Lord.
Christmas is not about us. If we are saddened because we’ve lost someone then we need to seek God and ask Him to refill our heart with His joy, to take the burden that weighs us down and to give us peace that only He can give. THEN, we’ll realize that Christmas is not dependent on our mood; it’s dependent upon our love for God and our gratitude and appreciation for Jesus, and whether or not we want to give Him glory and honor.
“Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.” … Psalm 30:4
We celebrate Christmas out of choice: it’s our choice to see beyond our own issues and worship Him as our Lord and Savior because we love Him; or it’s our choice to deny Jesus the glory that He so deserves just because we have been hurt. We need to give those hurts to Jesus; that’s why He came; that’s why He died on the cross; and that’s why He rose and lives!
Jesus loves us. If anyone could truly get a glimpse of Heaven – of its holiness and purity, of its beauty and peace, and all because God is there – then we just might realize how serious a thing it was for Jesus to leave His throne and become a man to live on earth amongst the sin and pollution with the devil. And all so He could redeem us back to Himself. Leaving Heaven to do this for us was something that Jesus did out of choice because His love for us is infinite. And giving Him praise and worship on a day when Christians lift Jesus up to say thank you is something that we all should do regardless of how our tradition of celebrating might be changed because a loved one has gone on.
Christmas is about Jesus. So, let’s keep our eyes on Him and remember that He is the doorway into Heaven where many of our loved ones wait for us.
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” … Isaiah 9:6
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