A Real Christmas

"The meaning of Christmas is not found in a rejection of rank commercialism, but is rather the meaning of the whole Bible—sin, promise, redemption, faith and glory."   – Douglas Wilson

It's that time of the year when every Christian who thinks more than an inch deep recognizes how the significance of Christmas has been raped and pillaged by American depravity.  I say "American depravity" not because Americans are depraved and everyone else isn't but because depravity takes on many different forms and because there is definitely an American kind.

Last year at the end of Christmas Day I did my share of ranting and raving about the vanity of most of the gifts given and received, the lack of focus on Christ Himself, and the end-of-the-day emptiness in my soul because we had not truly celebrated Him as much as I felt we should have.  Cindi and I made some resolutions about Christmas gifts that we have managed to keep this year to some extent.  Still, though, the Christmas season (for us) was not what I felt it should have been.  I am realizing, though, that festivals and events and occasions like Christmas are what you make them.  If my Christmas is Christless, it's not the culture's fault.  It's my fault.

Decrying the secularization of Christmas will not make your Christmas Christian.  "The meaning of Christmas is not found in a rejection of rank commercialism."  The angel didn't say to the shepherds, "Congratulations!  You get to celebrate Christmas without any commercialism and gift-buying pressure and Santa Clauses because you're insightful enough to realize what the point really is."  No.  He said, "Today in the city of David has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).  There's a massive difference between recognizing the cultural evisceration of Christmas and being humble and passionate and Christ-centered enough to joyfully celebrate Christ.

It is always easier to criticize what's wrong than do what's right.  Berating the modern church is easier than being the biblical church.  Bemoaning the divorce rate demands far less self-denial than selflessly loving my wife.  Being frustrated with the lukewarmness of others is easier than waking up each day and living out my own genuine, personal love for Christ.

This Christmas season, I'm less interested in slamming all that "the holidays" have become and more interested in honoring Jesus as my Prophet, Priest, and King.  May He be honored as He deserves.


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