During this season when families all over the world celebrate the birth of Christ, we are reminded again of the need to reflect on the main reason for our lavish celebrations. Mistletoes, gingerbread cookies and lighted trees are seasonal and may have symbolic meanings; but they lack the clear meaning of ‘giving’ illustrated by God’s great act of love. Moreover those “Christmas” items lack the true qualities of things which should provoke children to ponder the real meaning behind the gifts given to them at Christmas time. Had not “God so loved this world…”, the greatest gift would not have been given. The significance of John 3:16 was paramount. The preeminent gift of his Son is foundational to any and all impetus on the believer’s part to give to others.
Jesus’ life was sacrificed on our behalf. Therefore we are indebted to him and should surrender all to him. The sacrifices that Christian parents make in order to supply natural provision for their families’ wellbeing exhibits God’s love-in-action, but only in a limited way. That parental instinct is native to parents who possess common sense. A deeper sense still exists. Jesus’ birth was so important that God led wise men and shepherds to him. What God did to redeem mankind was not instinctive to the human race. No one else ever had made such an attempt. Jehovah offered up his own unique son, his only-begotten son. Encouraging people to bring gifts to family members is one thing, encouraging people to bring Gifts to Christ is another; however, becoming a gift, wholly surrendered to God, one fully submitted to him and used by Him is the ultimate act of obedience. Throughout church history men and women have ventured to strange cultures and societies for the express purpose of reaching those who were unaware of God’s gift or that such love had been put into action.
These facts are true, and the simple message given will be endorsed by all who read these words. Whether the message will be translated into evangelistic action or not is entirely another matter. All around the world the spirit of jolly ol’ Saint Nick and Santa Clause will be celebrated. Will anyone take the time to read the story of Christ’s birth? Relating info of the former may produce smiles; the proclamation of the latter is anointed and will change lives for eternity. Since Jesus came into this earth, dwelling in it wholly without sin, the world has not been the same. The devil rages, the sting of sin was dealt with at the cross, and broken hearts now may be mended without the use of charms, witchcraft or belief in pagan gods. The resurrected son of God was vindicated when he was raised from the dead by the Spirit of holiness and power.
Indeed let us make our celebrations evangelistic this year. When confronted with the issue of possibly offending unbelieving persons who perhaps will join us at a Christmas gathering, let us not forget that Jesus was born to die, and that many sinners sought to destroy him when he was born and more sinners yet stood there at the cross where Jesus died. Should we not inform the offended of the truth of what their offenses required Jesus to do – to die? The narrative must be told, and forcefully. Who knows? There could be an Anna or Simeon ready to join us in telling others all about Christ’s remarkable Birth!
May Your Holiday Be Filled with Evangelism and Cheer,
Brother Darrell Sutton