At last, Christmas has arrived! Spending time with family and friends… the lights and decorations… celebrating traditions… all the awesome Christmas music that’s playing right now… it certainly is the greatest time of year!
All those things are awesome; don’t get me wrong. But what happened to the real reason why we celebrate Christmas– the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord?
It seems like every year, this season gets more and more commercialized. The stores are bombarding us with advertising to buy the newest, trendiest thing this holiday season; people are literally getting into fights over sales; and the true Gift of Christmas is gradually being exchanged. It’s crazy!
Now, I understand that everyone has different beliefs– and, as expressed in some of my previous blog posts, I’m totally accepting of everyone no matter what. However, I think people are so busy with holiday shopping and all the traditions, that we are starting to forget the true meaning of Christmas.
A few weeks ago, I reviewed 1 Girl Nation’s Christmas EP, and the first song (“Joy“) was a nice reminder of why we celebrate this season. The song is loosely based on the message in John 3:16-17.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
Whenever I read that verse, it reminds me that God became human in the Person of Jesus Christ, all because He loves us. When you think about it, that’s pretty huge. He became human when Jesus was born, because we needed a Savior. Every time I read the book of Luke in the Bible, it’s a reminder of what God did for us, and I am amazed.
Earlier this week, my youth leader and I had a very thought-provoking discussion about the true meaning of Christmas. We talked about how it’s so easy to get carried away with the traditions of the holidays (i.e., visiting family, shopping for gifts, etc.), that we end up losing focus on what really matters; the birth of the Savior. And I believe that’s true.
For anyone who’s curious as to why we celebrate Christmas at this time, I could go into extreme detail, or I could condense it to four simple words: Because He is Love (as 1 John 4:8 says). Out of gratitude for what the Holy Spirit did for us, we remember Christ’s birth at this time by doing things like:
• Giving each other gifts (although that shouldn’t be your main focus at the holidays). I personally didn’t know this until I became closer to God in the past 2 years, but one reason why we exchange gifts is to honor God’s gift to us. Just remember, the true meaning of Christmas is love upon all else.
• Worshiping Him; carols such as “Joy To The World” and “Silent Night” (one of my favorites!) were written to praise Jesus’ coming into this world. These songs have been sung a million different times, by almost everyone (some music artists who have covered these songs include Aly & AJ, tobyMac, Kelly Clarkson, and the Jonas Brothers, for example), but the meaning is still the same.
• Giving back to the community; when we help others in the community, we are sharing love– and basically being Jesus’ hands and feet. Whether you raise money to donate to your local food bank, or donate toys and clothes to charity… or even sing Christmas carols at a seniors centre, there’s just something so satisfying about helping the community. Not only is everyone grateful for what you did, but you also feel this amazing amount of joy when you do something nice for the people around you.
i hope you all have an amazing Christmas, and a safe and happy new year! Never forget what The Lord did for us this holiday season, and remember that He Is Love.