“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him at Christmas, shall have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others in December, for which such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16
Wait a minute… those don’t seem right…
I love Christmas. I love what it stands for, I love making cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. I love Christmas music and cheesy made-for-TV Christmas movies.
Christmas is just the best! But I’ve realized something odd about Christmas, for me, the past five or so years: it’s become less and less about Jesus (whose birth we are celebrating). Do I blame commercialism, or society, or this sinful world we live in?
I blame the fact that my relationship with Christ is as strong as it’s ever been.
The issue with “keeping Christ in Christmas,” is that so many people literally keep Him right there in December and ignore Him the rest of the year.
My spiritual journey is an interesting one. I’ve always “been a Christian.” Mom and dad did all the right things raising me and having me involved in church. Christmas was always so spiritual, as I’d be a part of the church pageant each year, the family would go to Christmas Eve communion, and dad would always read the Christmas story before I went to bed on Christmas Eve.
Christmas continued to give me this happy Jesus-y feeling throughout most of adulthood. I would feel especially close to Christ at Christmas, causing me to make more donations, give more gifts, and maybe even talk about Jesus more. After all, Christmas is when Christians celebrate the Virgin birth.
It wasn’t until my early 30’s that I really “got” what it means to be a Christian. It’s not a set of rules to follow, it’s a relationship with Christ. And since that relationship with Christ has grown the way it has, Christmas doesn’t give me that ultra-mega-Jesus-y feeling anymore. That’s because for the past five years or so, I don’t keep Christ locked up in December. I keep Him in my every day life.
I realize the saying, “Keep Christ in Christmas” is typically meant for those who dismiss Him completely at Christmas, but I encourage you to look at it another way: Are you keeping Christ in Christmas, but ignoring Him the rest of the year?
Are you emotional about the miracle of Jesus’ birth in December, but could care less in June?
Do you notice the poor and homeless around Christmas, but forget about them in the spring?
Do you volunteer your time to help those less fortunate this time of year, but find you don’t even consider the less fortunate once January hits?
I realize we’re each on our own spiritual journey in this lifetime, and trust me, Christ loves you even if you do only acknowledge Him at Christmas. Even if you keep Him there. But I’m here to tell you that each and every day can be like Christmas if you build a relationship with Him.
The magical feeling of Christmas each and every day?! Absolutely.
I’m not suggesting we remove Christ from Christmas, but spiritually, for me, it’s not the huge religious deal some people make it. I often fail miserably, but I try to make Christ a huge deal every day, not just in December. I am thankful for His birth every single day.
The things God has called us to do as Christians do not have an expiration date. They do not have a timeline other than living for Him each day. And trust me, when you do, your life will change in ways you can’t even imagine.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other,
just as Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
“In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
and He will reward them for what they have done.” Proverbs 19:17