Friday, December 24, 2010

Xmas Cheer

We Christians often bemoan the commercialization of Christmas, i.e, no one cares anymore about the real meaning; it's all about getting presents; Santa Claus is bigger than Jesus; it's sinful the way Christmas is all about shopping; they've taken Christ out of Christmas.

Yeah, well, I say look on the bright side. Jesus' birth is still celebrated, after 2,000 years. It's an annual reminder of God sending his Son to earth, humbling him to dwell in human form. It's an affirmation of a miracle. Many miracles.

But even more, I don't think I will complain about Christmas over-commercialization any more. When friends, media, and society in general who aren't Christians celebrate the holiday season of Christmas without Christ in their hearts, how does that harm us? Isn't it actually incredibly wonderful that they associate (even subconsciously) the holiday of Christ's birth with giving gifts from the heart to others, making an intentional effort to spend time with family and loved ones, inspiring children to be good, spreading joy and hoping for peace? 

We should pray for their understanding, not curse them for their shallowness and hypocrisy. We have been forewarned to not be like the Pharisees who prayed only to be seen and honored by men. And yet are not our judgments of others often vocal condemnations given so that we are seen and honored by other "true believers"? 

Perhaps we should view Christmas as a modern-day parable offered to the world. Jesus said to his disciples "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside, everything is said in parables." Mark 4:11. We should count our blessings that we understand the fulfillment of Christ's birth, not criticize the uninitiated. We should pray for their comprehension, so they might share in our joy.

Jesus also told his disciples to "let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them" (Mark 10:14). Isn't Christmas a wonderful rite to bring children to Him? Perhaps we should care about young (and old) unchurched and unbelievers in the same manner as Christ cared about the children, loving them into understanding. Christmas is all about love, and we Christians should exude love regarding this holy holiday. Only then will people see Jesus in us.

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