It’s that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. The gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, special dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of “Merry Christmas” to those who pass us in the streets! I love all of this, but, is this really Christmas?
We live in cultural settings. Every culture has a worldview. Worldview is a set of presuppositions (or assumptions) that we hold (consciously or subconsciously) about the basic makeup of our world(2). It is passed on from generation to generation with minimal change, the assumptions rarely being reviewed or revised.
The American culture is influenced by several worldviews. One of them is the Western worldview, a view characterized of materialism, rationalism, scientific naturalism, and postmodernism (1)(3). It seems that all those worldviews have stolen the real meaning of what Christmas is.. which reminds me of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss. In the story, the Grinch is a grouchy, solitary creature who attempts to put an end to Christmas by stealing Christmas-themed items from the homes of the nearby town Whoville on Christmas Eve. The same occurs in America, all those cultural influences tries to steal the actual meaning of this special day make it a day that is all about going shopping, presents, and Santa Claus.
However, what is Christmas all about?
The true meaning is that it’s the day we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child (Luke 2:4-19).
This special child (Jesus) was sent by God to us so that one day, He would grow up to become a very important part of history. His story (history) is one of truth, love, and hope. It brought salvation to all of us. Without Jesus, we would all die in our sins.
Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for the things we have done that are wrong. The Bible says that all have sinned. We are all born with a sin nature. We need to have that removed. The only way is through Jesus. Jesus came so He could die on the cross for ALL of our sins. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us. Then, we are clean and made whole.
Jesus Is The Reason For This Season! So I hope that during this time we “steal” Christmas back to where it belongs. As in Dr. Seuss’ book, despite Grinch’s efforts, Whoville’s inhabitants still celebrate the holiday, so the Grinch returns everything that he stole and is the guest of honor at the Whos’ Christmas dinner. In the same way, our society tries to “steal” the place of Jesus on Christmas, but He’s still celebrated by millions of people around the world. Let’s put Jesus back to where He belongs on Christmas Day!