The Christmas Season:
The meaning of Christmas can often be overlooked during the hectic holiday season. With Santa Claus, department store sales, shopping, decorations, and family gatherings, it can be easy to get caught up in the busy Christmas traditions. We make lists of gifts that we want and hope that we have been good enough to earn them. We can get so caught up in red and green flashing lights that we forget what the Christmas season is truly about- celebrating the birth of Christ. The significance of the birth of Jesus is something that is so easy to forget. However, the birth of Jesus changed the entire world and should be celebrated- especially on Jesus’ birthday! In the midst of the cookies and treats and gifts, we have to intentionally take time to slow down and remember why this holiday season even exists.
The True Meaning of Christmas:
The Christmas season gives us so much to be thankful for. Christmas reminds us that God’s love has been and always will be there for us. That we were born into the world for a purpose all its own. In a lot of ways, Jesus wanted us to be like him- that’s why we were created in His image. He even came into the world like every one of us did. He was humbly born in a manger, completely changing the course of history. Jesus used his perfection to be a gift shared with everyone. “He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8). It is impossible to doubt the love of Jesus after learning that He chose the life of a servant. Jesus could have been born into the world as a king or a prince– but he chose humility. Christmas is a wonderful reminder that God wanted us to always remember how much we are loved. There is no gift on Earth that deserves more celebration than that!
People in the Holiday Season:
It is no secret that although the Christmas season is meant to be filled with joy, it can oftentimes be challenging at the same time. With extended family coming in from out of town, constant traveling, and everyone gathering in one place, sometimes conflict just happens. There is no family that is perfect, no friends that are flawless, and no people that are without fault. For some people, Christmas can be hard. Maybe it feels lonely because your favorite family members can’t join you in the celebration. Our lives will never be perfect and sometimes these imperfections seem a lot bigger during the holiday season. It’s during those moments that it’s more important than ever to tap into the joy of the Lord during the Christmas season. There is so much more to be grateful for during Christmas than just presents and decorations- we have God’s eternal love! And that is a gift that will never get old.
Joy versus Happiness:
During the holiday season is when the difference between joy and happiness becomes more obvious. As we get gifts, and give gifts to others, we invest in the material world more than we usually do. We create lists of things that we want and hope that receiving them will bring us happiness- and it usually works! Christmas day, especially in the childhood years, feels like the best and happiest day of the year. But, as we move further into the new year, we begin to realize that those gifts we got aren’t as exciting anymore. We have played the same game too many times or rode our new bike until we got sick of it. When the happiness of the Christmas season eventually passes we can find a reliable and consistent joy in Jesus. Psalm 16:11 exclaims, “you will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” The temporary happiness of this world will never fill us the way that the joy of the Lord will day after day. His consistent and unending love for us is the best present we could ever receive. In this Christmas season and every season after, the joy of the Lord is your strength.