As the Christmas season gets into full swing, the odd reality is that in many institutions, homes and hearts, Christ will be absent from his own birthday party.
Jesus is a gentleman, and he will not intrude as an uninvited guest. He is patiently waiting for the call, always watching and listening for earnest, or even seeking and uncertain voices to whisper his name. And he will always enthusiastically accept the invitation, bringing with him the gift of unconditional and lasting love.
It's the greatest news the world has ever known, that God came to earth in the form of a little baby and grew and faced the same human challenges as do we. I find it unfathomable that he loves me so much that he bore the suffering of the guilt of my sin. He did that for you too - and everyone you know. Yet, our “celebration” of his love has been reduced to focusing on the glitz and merriment of the “holiday” - with scarce a mention of who it is we are celebrating.
When we as a nation collectively reject the deep spiritual offering that Christ makes, and at the same time seize the chance to party, open gifts and take time off from work, a national and personal emptiness results. Yes, there is beauty and joy in celebrating our love for family and friends, but human love can only go so far. It is imperfect, and fleeting and even when it seems as close to pure as possible, it still cannot fill that hole in our souls that is meant for God.
Because we have successfully removed Christ from the Christmas season, many who might otherwise come to know him through the attention he should be getting will pass through just another holiday season as the proud owners of a few trinkets that will eventually tarnish, wear out and break. They will also enter the New Year the same as they left the old one - searching, hoping, longing for something more.
Will it be that way in your own home?
Don't allow your attention to focus on something as meaningless as just another “holiday” party. As our culture shuts out Christ for the sake of political correctness, don't shut him out of your home.
In Romans 1:16, Paul writes:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation for every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
In other words, we should boldly proclaim the good news of Christ because he provides salvation for every one who believes! Imagine that – salvation awaits anyone who believes in Jesus – no matter our faults or failures or financial or family situation. We don’t have to “clean up our act” first – we only have to believe in him – to invite him to our life’s party.
Perhaps celebrating Christ is a new concept for you, and you have no idea where or how to start.
The greatest story ever told can be found throughout the Bible – it is the story of Christ. To focus on his birth, Luke offers the most detailed account. The book of Hebrews beautifully explains the fullness of Christ’s love, and how you can experience it on a daily basis. If reading the Bible sounds daunting, look through various translations to find one you can easily understand. You can view different version online at Bible.com and BibleGateway.com.
Don’t delay – start reading the messages of truth and hope with your family, and discuss what they mean each day during this Christmas season. Equally as important, take time to pray, asking God to make the words real and powerful in your own heart. Asking for faith is often the first step in receiving it.
Invite Christ into your home and heart for his birthday. When you do, he will joyfully accept, and Christmas will never be the same.