Carols, Christmas lights, parties, presents, food, drinks, shopping, frustration …
Festive music and carols fill the air in almost every shop, restaurant and Shopping Centre. Christmas songs with no spiritual meaning or message are piped through most shopping malls. According to a fairly recent survey, only one in a 100 cards with any vague reference to the true Christmas message can be found on the shelves of major High Street stores.
A few years ago a very dear friend of mine felt the Lord leading her to make personalized Christian Christmas cards. The message on the front cover stated: “Gifts are for unwrapping”. It was followed by a verse and and pertinent question inside the card: “For God so loved the world (that includes you and me) that He gave His one and only Son”(John 3:16a). It followed on with the question: “Have you unwrapped that gift? …”
This is indeed the real meaning of Christmas. The words in Isaiah get forgotten: “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine” (Isaiah 9:2) We are living in a very dark, evil and frightening world. This message of the coming of the Saviour, is as relevant today as ever before! We need the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Whether we care to admit it or not, we are all sinners and need to find forgiveness in the only One who is able to forgive sins. “…and she (Mary) will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21) – and that includes you and me!
The world is shouting “Away with the manger!” Christians should be challenging the world to “put Christ back into Christmas”. Yes, many of the practices at Christmas stem from heathen and pagan festivals and practices, but, despite that, the Christian church uses this time each year to remember the first coming of Jesus to this earth. He was born as a human baby. He was born, as that famous carol states so beautifully: “born that man no more may die; … Born to give them second birth”.
This Christmas, let us meditate on the fact that Jesus came with a purpose – to save people (you and I) from our sins and to give us hope and eternal life.
As we remember His first coming, be ever mindful of the fact that He is coming back again. Having given us time (more than enough) to repent, to turn away from our sins and to live for Him, He will come as Judge for all those who have rejected Him, His gift of salvation and eternal life.
Let us also, this Christmas, ensure we are ready for His return. “Be ye also ready, for the Son of Man cometh at a time when ye think not!” (Luke 12:40)