This song makes me want to break out the tinsel, cut the lights down low and munch on some yule log…
You know it is, don’t lie.
Another confession: I am a more
lovable loving person at Christmas time. I get all giddy and thankful, and I start itching to help people and spread cheer. I become nauseatingly dramatic–like Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life. (Love that man.) Ohh the moralistic do-goodery that consumes me at Christmas…it’s a strange thing really.
Did you know… we celebrate Christmas in a very different way than most people- certainly different than most Christians. I’ll tell you what Morgan Christmas is like in a minute, but first I just have to wring out my heart.
Christians struggle with Christmas. Really. It is a time of internal conflict- a fine balancing act. The question: How do I celebrate Christmas in a way that both glorifies my God, and reconciles my desire to blend in and adapt to the holiday tradition that exemplifies my culture?
The line is always crossed. Families either 1.) overspend, overbuy, and overeat– then feel guilty that they’ve taught their children gluttony and materialism and neglected the “true meaning of Christmas”. or 2.) deny worldly pleasures, teach their children “the true meaning of Christmas” and spend one day a year worshiping baby Jesus and feeling like an organic apple in a MnM/fried twinky kinda world.
We love Christ. And we love Christmas. So when our family was created and we began celebrating holidays on our own, we had to ask the tough questions, like why? and how?
What is the true meaning of Christmas? Well, to find out, we obviously looked first in the place that matters most: the Bible. But oddly enough, Christmas isn’t in there! So we did a little research…and turns out, Christmas, like several other Christian holidays, has a pagan origin. It was adopted and adapted by the Catholic church to coincide the winter solstice. So the Christians decided that once a year they would use this day to celebrate the birth of Christ. And that is okay, but…
Thing is, we didn’t want to do that. We don’t want to celebrate once a year, but every Sunday! And we don’t just want to focus on the baby Jesus…He’s so much more than that! We want to celebrate Jesus the warrior, the conqueror of sin and death, who brings LIFE to those who He has called according to His purpose. A King that right now sits at the right hand of God the Father!! There’s power in that Jesus!
Alright, got that figured out, but what is all the Santa fuss about? Who brings the gifts again? The real gift is Jesus? But then why do I still get presents?
It’s all so confusing. The Pagan- Christian mix is exhausting. So what did we decide?
The true meaning of Christmas (for us) is this: We celebrate life. We celebrate love and the good, fruitful gifts that our Lord has given us. We celebrate food and lights and music. And we give thanks to God for all these things. We open presents and eat good food and watch movies about a pretend guy named Santa and we enjoy life. And each other. We don’t confuse that which we want to do (Christmas) with that which we’re called to do (Worship). And we do both…separately.
Oddly enough, Christmas falls on Sunday this year, so what will we do then? The same thing we do every Sunday. We will rest. We will give honor and glory to Christ. We will join with God’s people and we will Worship. We will sing, and pray, and hear the preached Word of God. And we will rejoice over the Truths of the Gospel. And later, we’ll eat and play and open presents and give thanks to God for giving us fun and family.
It may not be perfect, but it’s the best we’ve got.
Is Christmas a time of celebration for you? How do you celebrate?