Crowding Christ out of Christmas
The story is told of a christening that was to be held many years ago by a very wealthy European family. Many guests were invited to the home for the occasion and came in the very latest fashionable garb. Their wraps and coats were carried to a bedroom and laid upon the beds. After the usual lot of conversation and commotion they were ready for the christening ceremony and someone appropriately asked, “Why, where is the baby?” The nurse was sent upstairs to look and returned in alarmed distress. The baby was nowhere to be found. After several minutes‘ - search, someone remembered that the child had last been seen Iying on one of the beds and after a frantic search the little figure of a child was found smothered under the wraps of the guests. The chief reason why they had come had been forgotten, neglected and destroyed!
We cannot vouch for the authenticity of that story, neither can we help but think that when it comes to the observance of Christmas, many will forget, neglect and even destroy the Christ-child! He is smothered by the tinsel, wrapping paper, ribbon and make-believe that surrounds the festive occasion, reminding us of the words of St. Luke, “There was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 How repeatedly have these solemn, soul searching words been enacted in many so-called Christian homes and churches. Many lives will be so filled with activity and the social as to forget the actual and the spiritual significance of the birth of all births.
Little did the people of Bethlehem think that right in their village would be the greatest event in the world’s history. Do you realize that everyone was so busy that night, either sleeping or reveling, that very few knew what was going on, although it affected all generations and nations? The only ones who knew were the ones God told! And they were the simple hearted, the humble, even somewhat despised of the social scale. It was to these simple, watchful listeners that the wondrous story was first told. They heard the angelic choir anthem the birth of the Saviour and hastened to find that the Good News was true, God had come among men!
Let me ask you personally: Will you be too busy, too taken up with the hustle and bustle of Christmas to remember the Baby? Will the children of your home be so excited over the toys and dolls that they will not see the glory and the significance of His birth who was born that He might die for them and for you?
Are we not obligated as Christians to make of Christmas a truly Christian occasion rather than to share the pagan tempo with a careless, neglectful, commercial world? Is it not our duty to observe the blessed occasion in our churches and in our homes in such a way that Christ will not be crowded out of Christmas? Let us not get lost in the tinsel and electric trains, ribbons and candy canes, but let us use the great event to teach and inspire others as to its real significance!
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” I John 4: 10,11
Reprinted by permission: GOOD NEWS PUBLISHERS Westchester, Illinois 60153