Christmas: The Season of… Busyness?

Plan the party, make a dish for the church dinner, get the kids to choir practice, donate toys to the charity, attend church Sunday morning… oh, and don’t forget, you volunteered to help put the lights up at your elderly neighbors’ house! Sound familiar? I would surmise this is the majority of people at Christmas time. The season of joy? Probably more like the season of stress. We run around like crazy people trying to accomplish all that is expected of us. After all, if we don’t partake in the norm, we start to look like a scrooge. Nobody wants that, least of all a Christian who should really know the meaning of Christmas. We should serve and do twice as much at this season than the worldly people all wrapped up in commercialism and secular meanings. But do we really know better? Do we really do Christmas time that much different than the rest of he world? Probably not. In fact, I would say sometimes we’re more guilty of perverting Christmas time than even the world does.

Now you’re reading and thinking, “Really? I know what Christmas is about. It’s about celebrating Jesus birth! It’s about spending time with family and friends! It’s about fellowship and giving, and peace on earth!”. To that statement I would give a resounding, “Yes”! But, how often do we practice what we preach? Are we actually taking time to reflect on the sacrifice Christ made for us? I’m not just talking about on the cross, I’m talking about when He took on Human flesh. We look at the birth of Jesus as sweet, precious, silent, quiet, and most of all holy. Indeed, it was a holy night, but think about the decision Christ made to come to earth and take on human flesh. Jesus had never been separated from the Father. Jesus had never been bound by rules that bind us humans. Jesus never had to experience the curse of sin and the destruction that comes with it.

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Paul then says in Philippians 2:5-8, “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.”  When we read this scripture, it should change our attitudes. Christmas isn’t just about a sweet baby being born, though that is part of the story. Instead, it’s about almighty God coming down in the form of His creation so that He might die for our wickedness. Kind of makes getting a good deal on Black Friday seem silly doesn’t it? In fact, it can make the entire Christmas season of busyness seem silly.

Why are we busy with parties, buying presents, decorating, and running around instead of reflecting on what the season actually represents? It’s interesting to see what the Lord asks us to do when we are in times of extreme busyness. Psalms 46:10 states, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (NIV) Understanding that there are things that must be done in and for the Christmas season, how have to you taken a step back to recognize and worship the Lord for Who He is and what He’s done? This Christmas, don’t let busyness and the expectations the world puts on you distract you from Christ. Be still, worship the Lord, and then share the love of Christ with everyone you know.

 

Pastor Ben