Tag Archives: christmas

The Real Meaning of Christmas

In 2000, Universal Pictures released the live-action film How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey based on the 1957 book by Dr. Seuss. But in this version, before the Whos down in Whoville are robbed by the Grinch on Christmas Eve night, little Cindy Lou Who realizes that the true meaning of Christmas has been lost already and becomes overwhelmed by the materialism that it has been replaced with. But when the Whos awake on Christmas morning to find that everything associated with Christmas has been stolen from them, it only takes little Cindy’s love and compassion to show, according to her dad, Lou, that Christmas isn’t about gifts, lights or things from a store, but that Christmas is more about things such as getting together with family and loving and caring for the good of others.

Many have searched to find the real meaning of Christmas only to come up short at the end of their journey.

Christmas, a joyful and cheerful time of year for many people, is unpleasant and sad for many others who struggle with loneliness or depression during the holidays. For them Christmas is just another day of pain or guilt and oftentimes bitterness accompanies their attitude toward those who go about jolly and glad during this time of year.

Take Ebenezer Scrooge, for example. In Charles Dickens’ story A Christmas Carol, seven years after the death of Scrooge’s business partner, Jacob Marley, the heartless old Scrooge is visited by Marley’s ghost who appears to warn him that his soul is in danger for eternity if he does not change his greedy ways. In that same night he is haunted by three ghosts that take him on a journey through his own life to show him what he could not see. But before his final hour has come he is given a second chance for redemption and turns from his self-centered ways. He awakes on Christmas morning to find joy and cheer filled in his heart, and in contrast to his old life, gives generously of himself to others for the remainder of his life on earth.

But is Christmas really about generosity and good cheer? Is it only about being with family and friends, being near to the ones you love and sharing joy with those we pass by? While the two stories that have been mentioned above are timeless classics that offer some truth in respect to kindness and generosity, they both lack the real and true meaning of Christmas.

Every year America watches Charlie Brown take the advice of Lucy to direct the school Christmas play as he searches for the true meaning of Christmas. Depressed and aggravated, Charlie Brown goes out and finds the lowliest Christmas tree for the play. Despite Linus’s reluctance regarding his choice, Charlie Brown returns to become the laughing stock of all his pals and his very own dog, Snoopy. Finally in a moment of frustration and despair Charlie Brown asks,

“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

How about you, have you ever felt like Charlie Brown? Do you feel like you’re the only one trying to find your way through your busy holiday schedule, the shopping malls, wrapping paper and Christmas cards in hopes to find the true meaning of Christmas?

In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Linus reminds us every year what the true meaning of Christmas really is when he tells Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about. Quoting from Luke 2:8-14, Linus recites, “’For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord…’ That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” John the Baptist introduced Jesus in this way, “Behold, the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).

This Christmas season may you and your family be blessed as you take the time to celebrate the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and go out and share with the world the Savior who has come to take away our sin.

Merry Christmas

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Article by Michael Waits

@michaelwaits

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Be Evangelistic this Christmas

A story I read tells about a little boy and girl singing their favorite Christmas carol in church the Sunday before Christmas. The boy concluded Silent Night with the words, “Sleep in heavenly beans.” “No,” his sister corrected him, “peas, not beans.”

This little bit of humor reminded me that sometimes people don’t understand our message as well as we believe they do. The Bible tells us that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” (John 1:14), and that this Word was and is Jesus (John 1:1-18). Christmas is about the coming of Jesus, God’s “Word,” and what better time to talk about it than during the holidays?

The Christmas season is always a busy time of year for a lot of folks but it also serves to remind us we have a mission to accomplish. We have been commanded to testify of the coming of Christ and share with others what Jesus has done for us. Christmas provides at least three opportunities for aiding in this command:

First, people are generally more charitable during the holidays. The Salvation Army begins to take up residence on every busy street corner and store front during this time of year because they know that people like to give during the holidays. In Christian theology charity has been understood as “the friendship of man for God.” Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Christmas is a great time of year to share with others the charity and goodwill of God the Father who gave up His Son that we may have eternal life.

Second, people are generally more open to religion during the holidays. In spite of the recent “war on Christmas” that has reduced Christmas to holiday trees and merry greetings, what other time of year will you hear songs of the incarnation in retail stores and shopping markets? Even people that aren’t professing Christians tend to “get a little religious” around the holidays. Christmas provides a great opportunity to talk about the purpose for the coming of Christ with regular acquaintances.

Third, people are generally more available during the holidays. One of my favorite aspects of the holidays is gathering and spending time with family that I just don’t get to see very often. Whether we’re sitting around the table together, watching television after having eaten a large meal or just enjoying passing conversation over coffee and tea, Christmas provides doors of opportunity for conversation between friends and relatives.

This Christmas season as you go about your busy schedule of planning meals, buying gifts and visiting loved ones, remember the reason for the season and tell someone about the charity of God, the visit of His Son and the hope of eternal life in Christ. “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

Article by Michael Waits

@michaelwaits

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