Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bah Humbug...

by Adam Bailie

Each year I face a struggle unique to advent and the Christmas celebration, and I am quite sure that many would attribute my struggle to Scrooge-likeness. Every year of my adult life, I have battled to genuinely enjoy a season that revolves around commercialization at the very highest level. I have found the pressure to purchase gifts and cards, and to pay an exorbitant electric bill in the name of holiday cheer a real roadblock to a Christ-centered Christmas. Everywhere I turn, a false superficial joy is offered through possessions and wealth. It is a lie that robs Christmas of its true life-giving and joy-inducing truth…Jesus Christ, the God-Man who has come from heaven for the salvation of sinful humanity.

American Christmas traditions can be both enjoyable extras and dangerous temptations for our church family, which leads me to ask a few pointed questions for your benefit. If Jesus Christ and the miraculous incarnation is the very reason we are celebrating on December 25th, how will you practically pursue His centrality in your actual celebration? Will Jesus merely be slipped in right before or after presents with a reading of the incarnation narrative, or will He dominate Christmas? With presents, family, White Christmas or It’s a Wonderful Life, and mounds of food, how will you be distinguished as Christians this Christmas? These are questions we must ask and must answer. Why?

In Colossians 1:16, Paul reminds us that all that is exists through the creative power of Christ and for the glory of Christ. This is our life as Christians; we live to make the glory of Christ known in everything we are and do. So unlike Scrooge, who was so miserly that generosity was His worst imagination, we Christians have another reason to be concerned about Christmas. American Christmas endangers the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ and His miraculous and gracious condescension to earth for the sake of salvation of sinners like us. So, let’s band together for the sake of our Christ, and make this Christmas unique. Unique in that it begins, revolves around, and ends with the glorious reality of the Lord Jesus…Immanuel, God with us!

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