Christmas is such a busy holiday season. December shows up nipping at the heels of Thanksgiving. Hardly recovered from mega plates of turkey and sweet potatoes, we deck our halls with the family Christmas tree. Outside lights dress homes with cheer and a frenzy of holiday shopping makes for hours of secret ribbon tying and gift wrapping. Of course, there are special cookies and treats to be made because what’s Christmas without a frosted sugar cookie with sprinkles? Then there are parties to attend and to host. December days slip quickly by and before we know it, Santa has landed his sleigh of eight reindeer on top of our roofs. (Did we remember to set out cookies and milk for the portly man in red?)
But where is Jesus in all of this activity? Why are we celebrating December 25th? Have we forgotten His birthday and the reason for His coming? It’s all about Jesus… No more and no less.
“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:11 (NKJV)
The word SIMPLICITY has been on my heart as of late. Merriam-Webster defines simplicity as uncomplicated, a freedom of pretense and guile. This is how we should celebrate Christmas.
Instead of getting stressed over the cost of gifts and the debt they incur, our focus should be on the blessed gift God gave humanity. His son, Jesus, is the only gift we need. For with Christ, we are forgiven our debts and promised eternal life. With Jesus, we have hope for the future, love inexplicable, provision for needs, comfort, help, protector, and a faithful companion.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 (NKJV)
The three wise men delivered gifts to honor Jesus. Giving gifts to those we love (not just at Christmas) is a wonderful way to honor them. However, we don’t honor them by putting ourselves in debt buying items we can’t afford. Consider giving gifts of service and action. Have you fixed a gate, changed the oil on a car, made an extra big batch of soup you can share with a neighbor? Jesus came into this world to serve. How can you be a better servant during the holiday season?
The idea of getting back to basics, the simplicity of Christmas is to understand the Gospel message. Jesus, the son of God, descended from heaven and took on flesh and blood. He was both God and man when born of the Virgin Mary. He came to save the lost. Jesus was, is, and ever will be without sin but he took the sins of the world with Him to the cross. He died, rose again on the 3rd day, and eventually ascended into heaven where He is seated at the right hand of God. His kingdom has no end and He is our constant mediator. By faith, the one who accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior, confesses, and repents of sin, becomes a child of God. Eternal life in heaven is promised.
Believers have been called to be lights in this dark world, but it will come with a cost. Fear not! God will always provide the strength needed to be His witness. We are called to be bold and stout-hearted. Our purpose in this world is to share the Good News with the lost.
It is a happy thing to decorate our homes with colorful Christmas lights. The world will drive by and appreciate the twinkling display. It is also a happy thing to let our inner light shine, singing praises to God for His amazing gift. Let your inner light shine so bright that others notice and long for what you have received.
Thank you, Jesus, for coming to earth. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of forgiveness and eternal life. Praise the name of Jesus! Let all creation sing of Your glory. Merry Christmas to all and Happy Birthday, Jesus!
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)