“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you…” 1 Peter 1:3,4 NIV
“Mom, we can’t have Christmas this year without Grandpa.” My eleven-year-old son put a voice to my own tender feelings. A little over two months following the sudden death of my father, I didn’t feel like celebrating anything. How could I help my children to see that that his death was the very reason we must celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, that year, and every year?
With tears in my eyes, I sent up an arrow prayer for an answer that would sooth my heart and his, and God provided. “If it weren’t for Jesus being born as a baby, He wouldn’t have grown into the man who was willing to die for our sins. The resurrection of Jesus at Easter is how we know we will see Grandpa again, and that is why we will celebrate.”
My Bible study group just completed a study of the Gospel of John. Reading about the crucifixion and resurrection at Christmas gives a special perspective to the celebration of Christ’s birth. The Babe of Bethlehem was born to die for MY sins. His birth, life, death, and resurrection are inextricably linked with the hope of all mankind. Without His death for our sins, we would have no reason to celebrate Christmas.
The emptiness of secular Christmas celebrations frustrate me. Without Jesus, Christmas is just another reason to party, wallow in selfishness, and compete to give the best and biggest gifts. People spend too much, eat too much, party too much, and drink too much, all of which has nothing to do with the real reason for the season.
What is the focus of your Christmas celebration? Are you celebrating the birth of your Lord and Savior, or the emptiness of a “winter holiday?” One gives eternal life, the other distracts us from the true meaning of life.
This Christmas, no matter what your situation, determine to make Jesus Christ the center of your celebration. Give more to the needy than to those you love. Say “Merry Christmas” when someone says “Happy Holidays.”
Jesus Christ is the greatest gift the world has ever known. Honor Him with the gifts you give. Tell everyone around you why you’re celebrating. Give Christ center stage in your celebration. The gifts under the tree are worth nothing compared to the Man who hung on the tree for me.
© Copyright 2012 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman and www.normagail-2mefromhim.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved.