Ah, it’s Christmas. So much fun. We put up lights and decorations. There are all these concerts and parties to attend. There’s time off from school and work to enjoy family and friends.
We remember this pudgy happy fellow from the North Pole who puts presents under our trees, iPhones, laptops, video games, jewelry and clothes. And we eat and eat and eat, turkey, chocolate, shortbread and all kinds of other special treats.
All of us have our different Christmas traditions and different reasons why we (hopefully) enjoy Christmas.
But soon enough it’s all over. It was a good time. We enjoy the presents we got, though after a while they lose their shine. We had a good time with our family and friends, but all too soon they go back home.
Finally we take down the lights and fancy decorations, and store them away for another year. Life goes on.
Not much is different really, except that our Visa bill is higher than usual and we’ve put on a few pounds.
No, I don’t mean to be the Grinch who wants to steal Christmas. Not at all. I think all of this Christmas celebrating is great.
But I also think if we’re to get the most out of Christmas, we ought to pay attention to the ‘other’ Christmas story. The one about the baby born in Bethlehem who came as God’s Son to be Saviour and King. It was all the way from heaven that he came.
Not just to give us a few trinkets and toys, but to give presents like God’s love and forgiveness, new life, and eternal life in heaven.
Costly presents these; they cost him his own life on the cross. And lasting presents they are as well. These gifts never lose their shine. The longer we have them, the more we appreciate them. They meet our deepest needs and give us a joy found no where else.
So this Christmas, I would wish you all wonderful celebrations and great times. But I’d also encourage you to remember and to celebrate that other Christmas story.
If you know this story, be sure it’s at the center of your celebrations. If you don’t quite know it, pull out a Bible and read it in Luke 2. Or check out a Christmas service at a local church.
Jesus came into this world because of his love for you. In that love he came to die for you to offer you gifts beyond your wildest dreams.
Sorry if I’m biased, but it’s this Christmas story that beats all others hands down.
Pastor Clarence Witten