Have you noticed how many people complain about Christmas? I think it is a point of view and an understanding of what we celebrate.
Think of the elements of this season: Music, decorations, gifts, gatherings and worship.
Music for the Christian focuses on the incarnation. It reminds us of the Word made flesh. It reminds us that the cure for sin is a reality. It speaks of love and hope. For the generic pagan and Xian the music focuses on the dreary love life of the latest pop star. We hear all kinds of ditties, some clever, some boring, all pointless. I love “White Christmas” but it doesn’t come close to “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” No wonder they badmouth the season.
Decorations for Christians focus on the manger, angels, wise men and the Light who was the Life of men. Awesome. For cultural Christians it is Santa, snow flakes, snowmen, gingerbread and wrapping paper. No wonder they miss the point.
Gifts for believers are a chance to give and share. It is a joy of seeing the face of another light up. For too many it is about who got the most loot, greed and materialism, indeed.
For many Christmas is a time of family gatherings whether they are believers or not. There are differences though. Believers will read the Christmas story and rebuild the ties that bind. The general population looks for another excuse to get drunk and practice gluttony. It makes a difference.
And the ultimate gathering is worship. This is only for believers. Others may attend but it is not worship, it is ritual or habit. We come together to celebrate the coming of the Messiah as He began His journey to the cross, the tomb, the resurrection, the ascension and some day the return. What a time of hope. What a glorious experience as we sing,
No more let sin nor sorrow grow,Merry Christmas!
Nor thorns infest the ground.
and don’t forget,
homo unius libri