“Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” “Keep Christ in Christmas.”
Who of us has not heard, or as believers, even spoken, these pithy sayings meant to be statements of our belief in what Christmas is all about? Hey, in the face of the world’s co-opting of our most celebrated holy-day, we need to speak up and say what is right! Right?
The rub comes not in our willingness to speak up but in our actual living out those words at Christmas. Here is where our actions truly do speak louder than our words.
Our beliefs do shape our actions. However, even when we say we believe something, it can take a long time to filter down from our heads into our hands and feet, you know, to what we do and where we go.
So when we say “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” and “Keep Christ in Christmas,” how are we doing that in actual practice?
Since gift giving is an integral part of Christmas, and Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, do we consider giving a gift to him?
When our boys were small, my husband began a tradition for our family that he called “Christmas for Christ.” Though we bought a few gifts for our kids (and now grandkids) and a few other loved ones, we made it a point to “buy” something for Jesus comparable in price to the gifts we buy for others.
How do you buy Jesus a birthday present? Well, what does Jesus love? Where is his heart?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17, ESV).
Jesus came into the world (at Christmas!) to do the Father’s will: become the Savior the world needs, that you and I need.
Now Jesus sends us, his people, into the world to love others and tell them about the Savior. Based on things Jesus said, we believe our lives and the resources he’s placed in our hands should be focused on what he wants to do in his world, all year round as well as at Christmas time.
So, in our family we pray about which mission or ministry to send a special monetary gift to at Christmas time. That becomes our birthday gift to Jesus. Then we try to be sure our lifestyle and use of his resources line up with his purposes the rest of the year too. So the struggle to focus on Jesus is not just at Christmas time but all the time.
Sending monetary gifts is only one way to give Jesus a birthday present and keep Christ in Christmas. We can also do it by giving our time and efforts in ministry to others. There are opportunities all around us. We can check out our community’s local ministries to the needy or homeless, to the sick or shut-in, orphans and widows; or look into missions through our church.
What are your traditions for keeping Christmas about Christ? I’d love to hear how you give to Jesus for his birthday.
Share your traditions with me in the comment box. We can learn from each other about how to Keep Christ in Christmas, because truly, Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
Image by Coffee from https://pixabay.com