Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all

The Christmas season is remarkable. For Christians, the holiday is meant as a commemoration of the time Jesus entered into the world as a baby. Despite His importance, His entrance was in a very unlikely way.

Christians believe Jesus is the Messiah who came into the world to act as a sacrifice for our sins, and then be gloriously resurrected.

Whether a person is a believer or not, there can be no argument that Jesus is the most important figure in our world's history. For believers, His importance is obvious. For non-believers, His teachings have impacted them in ways they likely do not even realize.

In spite of His significance, His entrance into the world was in just about the most humble way possible. With no lodging available, He was born in an animal stable.

While His birth was re-created in Christmas pageants all across Coffee County in recent weeks, none of them did the event justice.

This is not meant as an insult to any of the organizations that did this. I am sure they were all tastefully done and appropriately emphasized the importance of the event. It is just that this is one of those times where it is impossible to recapture the power of the original event.

The circumstances of His birth must have been difficult at best and should be a lesson for us all. In our world, the emphasis is often on wealth and events that are cosmetically beautiful.

Frankly, a homeless child being born in a stable is an event that most of us would go out of our way to avoid. In our current day, it is like seeing a homeless person approaching then stepping to the other side of the street to prevent interacting with him.

Again, that is not meant as an insult. It is just part of our human nature. Simply put, there are times we do not want to deal with situations like that.

It is horrible that we sometimes do things like that, but it would be worse if we ignored that we do it. When we do this, it is the opposite of what the Christmas spirit is supposed to be.

If we all believe that everything happens for a reason, then there has to be a significant reason why Jesus entered into the world the way He did. I am sure there are lots of reasons, but I keep going back to the humility of it all.

If there is one characteristic lacking from America’s celebration of Christmas, it is humility. We live in a culture where bigger is better, and our approach to Christmas is an example of this.

The overemphasis on commercialism during the Christmas season is a primary culprit in all this. In most stores, decorations go up well before Thanksgiving in an attempt to get us in the spending mood.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, there are far more news reports on the spending habits of people than the actual reason the holiday is being commemorated. I agree that spending is important from an economic point of view, but what does it really have to do with the essence of Christmas? Nothing.

The words I just wrote are nothing new, and I could point to countless examples that back that up. For example, all of us have watched 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' and one of its themes is searching for the meaning of Christmas in a sea of commercialism.

And that show was made in 1965.

If nothing else, I want all of you to be in a more reflective mood about this holiday.

Do not let the accumulation of 'stuff' stand in the way of a true appreciation of the holiday.

Take off the rose-colored glasses and see it for what it really is.

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