My fellow Christians will use anything as a hammer with which to pound conviction. Liberals, evangelicals, emergent, high-church, low – doesn’t matter, we’ll use any event, news story or personality to make people feel bad about something. And usually it’s one of our own personal little convictions we recently have gotten excited about.
And Christmas is no exception.
Our culture is lush with materialism year round. But we choose Christmas to beat people over the head with this fact. You know, the season in which we are usually after gifts for others and not ourselves.
Neglecting Jesus is day-in and day-out phenomena for all of us. But we choose this time of year to be upset because someone or some business chooses to say “Happy Holidays!” Which is really a kind thing to say, just not kind enough for our liking.
And therein lies the problem. It’s all about us.
But it should not be. Christmas is a time for joy and wonder at all the grace lavished on us through the crazy miracle of incarnation. I can’t think of a better time to want to lavish gifts on loved ones and to enjoy with childlike excitement the gifts others have given us.
Listen, if you have convictions about how to do christmas, that’s great. There’s no need to turn them into sermons. Of course, the problem may be that you “do” Christmas instead of celebrating it. It’s a statement of your conviction- what you will do and not do this year – and not a celebration of all that God has done.
May the joy and wonder of what God has done in giving us this Baby spill over into our enjoyment of all the parts of the season.