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Why the Grinch Can’t Steal Christmas

By Watchman | December 12, 2008

    “O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”    Psa. 95:1

     Don’t look now, folks, but the Grinch is trying to steal Christmas, and as a nation we are NOT behaving like the Whos down in Whoville!  Okay, I know money is tight for just about everybody these days.  My own Christmas shopping has been drastically curtailed this year.  I am, however, astonished at the lack of Christmas spirit I am encountering each day.  No (or at least few) decorations, no smiling faces wishing me a Merry Christmas; no joy in the countenances of those I meet.  Why?  Because the country (indeed, the world) is in economic crisis, and few people have the heart for Christmas this year. Read the following excerpt from the New Testament Gospel of Luke, in which we find the angel of God speaking to Mary, mother of Jesus:

“And the angel said to her, ‘Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God.  You shall conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.  He shall be great and shall see that every one on his birthday will be given an ipod or Wii or a diamond bracelet; he shall reign victorious over those who would take your money…’ “

     What’s that you say?  That’s not the way the story goes?  Oh yeah!  Sorry–wrong version.  Let’s try it again:

 

“And the angel said to her, ‘Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God.  And you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His government there shall be no end.’ “

     Children of the living God:  what are we celebrating this season?  I venture to suggest that if we are depressed because there is so little money to spend this Christmas, we are definately NOT celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus. 

      Two thousand years ago, God our heavenly Father sent His only begotten Son to be born of a virgin and the Holy Spirit; to be the Word made flesh, that whoever would believe in Him and accept Him into their hearts would have eternal life!  Jesus came down–Love incarnate–to live perfectly and to die sacrificially so that we might live forever in the presence of the Almighty God!  As a nation, have we forgotten the meaning of Christmas?  Has our desire to celebrate diversity brought us to no longer standing on our faith at all?  To a large extent, I think the answer may be “yes”.  Those who complain that Christmas is too commercial have a certain amount of justice on their side, but is that as serious a failing as the fact that the birth of Christ no longer is the focus of the day we have set aside to bear His Name?  We have exchanged the Giver for the gift, and are not the better off for it. 

     We need to bear in mind that the only reason we give gifts to each other on Christmas is to remind us of the great Gift God gave to us on that night in Bethlehem  when a young couple found shelter in the stables of an inn, and the woman gave birth there to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  Is there a financial difficulty or political situation anywhere in the world that can change that truth?  Is there a present we do not receive or a Christmas dinner that may be scantier than we’d like that can in any way lessen the glory of the risen Christ and our gratitude for this most wonderful gift of our most gracious and generous God?

        How would you like to have your loved ones throw a birthday party for you, but when you show up nobody remembers your name?  No one honors you or notices your presence at the party?  Christmas is Jesus’ birthday party, and if He is not the center of our celebrations then we are dishonoring both Him and God the Father Who sent Him.

     Rejoice and be glad, children!  For the Lord has come among you and you will be blessed forevermore through Him!  Gather together and sing carols and bless His Name!  It is time to teach our children and grandchildren that Christmas does not belong to Santa Claus or the toy companies, but to Christ; that our greatest gifts are not those produced  by Sony, Nintendo or even Mitsubishi or Ford: our greatest gifts are eternal and unmerited, but we are given them anyway by a sovereign and loving God!   

     The season of Christmas is upon us: rejoice and be glad!  Set aside time each day to remember and thank God for the real Gift of this wonderful day!  The grinch cannot take away this Gift, no matter how hard he tries.  To misquote that great bard, Dr. Seuss:  “it will come without ribbons and come without tags! It will come without packages, boxes or bags.  For Christmas doesn’t come from a store.  Christmas means so very, very much more!”   Christmas truly comes only with Christ!

“Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

 

Maranatha!

 

Topics: Kingdom Living, Special Seasons of Worship | No Comments »

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