Sunday, December 16, 2012

Are You a Christmas Person?

        Are you for Christmas, or against Christmas?  Is it a matter of gimme-gimme-gimme, or showing off when we give something to someone else?  Is it outdoing the neighbors in decorating house and yard? 
        Is it party time, dress up time, go to see all the cute holiday movies?  Whose birthday is it, anyway?  Santa Claus or Jesus of Nazareth?
        Beyond this, a deeper controversy is heard every year.  Dare we do any of the “worldly things” for Christmas?  Are we being bad to take part in any kind of celebration?
        A look into the Bible brings to light some facts.  Nowhere are we commanded to keep December 25 as a holy day.  Nowhere does it specify that Jesus was born on December 25. History shows some pagan traditions that do claim December for their unChristian beliefs.
        Do we advance the cause of worldly traditions when we take part in some of them?  No, there is an advantage for the believer and a blessing we can give to the unbeliever.
        Yes, send Christmas cards that point people to Jesus as Savior of the world.  Yes, decorate with some candles and lights, telling people that Jesus came to be the light of the world.
        Yes, give a smile to that weary old Santa on his throne in the store. Pray for him to find Jesus as the “reason for the season.”  Pray for the popular entertainers to come to the faith in God.
        Yes, tell the youngsters that there are some cute holiday stories, songs, plays, parades, and movies to entertain that might nudge people into considering love and generosity and having fun, but make it clear what is fiction.  
        Yes, what is true is the Bible account of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the shepherds, the wise men from the East, and Herod’s killing the baby boys in Bethlehem.  There is good and evil.  Satan wants to destroy our lives now and for eternity.  Each of us must choose to believe and obey the LORD. Heaven is true.
        Yes, we see a baby in the manger at Christmas time, but Jesus grew up.  He had a wonderful ministry to people, teaching them, healing them, then dying on the cross for our sins, then coming out of the grave in 3 days, preaching and being seen for 40 more days before arising to Heaven.  Jesus is not a baby now.  He was the promised Messiah we read about in the Old Testament. 
          You and I can find opportunities to show our love and care for others at Christmas, and our concern for their souls continues all year long.  We can donate to worthy causes, contribute a good offering to churches and ministries to spread the Good News around the world.  
        We can give a smile to those shoppers in the store whose goal is to buy-buy-buy.  We can pray for the harried and the worried.  
        We can speak up to share the good news of the Gospel. We can be a blessing to others.  
        As the future grows dark with disasters and problems of all kind we need not deny the fact of evil and confusion and deception in the world.  We will keep informed, alert, and plan and prepare.  Our love for Jesus and His love for us is true. 
        The LORD gives us opportunities, and we can be a Christmas person.  

                   By Elaine Hardt ©2012