Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Blues

Christmas is over, and the new year is rapidly on its way. One of the things that has increasingly annoyed me in recent years is the absolute lack of knowledge our people have about this holiday.

People who call themselves Christians, sing all the songs, say all the right "Christmasy" things just don't have a clue. They talk about about the "spirit of Christmas" like they define it themselves.

Now, I have no problem with Christmas trees, colored lights, exchanging gifts, no problem at all, and enjoy that time with my family; and I don't even really have a problem with Santa Claus, as long the story is kept in perspective. After all, that story started with a 3rd century monk in present day Turkey--he was a good guy whose story outgrew him.

As for what we celebrate, even when the point turns to the Christ-child, most get it wrong. Jesus was born in a manger. Shepherds came to worship, angels attended, some time later the wise men came (maybe three, maybe more, it's not important). Except for one appearance at the temple, history is pretty quiet about him until He was about 30 years old. Everyone is so busy celebrating the birth they forget about the reason He came: to suffer, die and rise again to save sinners.

Maybe it's because no one, myself included, really likes to admit that we're sinners, and need saving. We can't save ourselves, our friends, family, life work..., nothing can save us but the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Yes, he taught his disciples and many others, and the record of His is written down for our benefit in the Gospels; but the the teaching is not the reason he came. He came as the final sacrifice to save His people from their sins. This part is omitted by the bulk of the populace as they celebrate--when they bother to acknowledge him at all.

So, as we look back on how we celebrated, let's look forward to why we'll do it again next year, and make sure we get it right.

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