This Christmas, blessings will be counted in different ways. And that may be the very best gift of all. With an economic repression officially upon us, our typically abundant holiday season has gone the way of manger scenes in chain stores and Christmas trees in schools. With the focus this Christmas less on material things and more on faith and family, we will once again remember the true joy of Christmas.
Jesus Christ was easily the best gift this world has ever scene. His birth and death freed believers from the burden of sin – past, present, and future. This life is difficult enough as it is and without Christ’s gift of forgiveness, times like these would darn near be impossible to navigate. Thankfully though, Christ was given to this world to release it from its very evils - one of which is our obsession with possessions.
Somewhere along the way Christmas became a Hollywood holiday. It became about gifts and gadgets instead of faith and family. Christmas lost its real meaning when we became enamored with the idea of presents. The day became about giving and getting the perfect present and counting our blessings based on the things we own. It has warped into a season of stress – both financial and emotional – and has brought billions of people around the world more strain and loneliness than any other day of the year. How sad that we have taken the greatest gift of all and either turned it into, or let it be turned into, a burden on ourselves, our faith, and our families.
The birth of Christ occurred during a time of economic unrest. Ironically, Mary and Joseph faced many of the same problems that so many Americans are facing today. Housing, travel, and work situations were cause for fear and frustration then, just as they are now. Frills were not just missing; they were nowhere to be found. And this allowed them to maintain a focus on their faith that was uninterrupted by unnecessary distractions.