Something happens around Christmas time. As the year draws to a close, and December 25th comes rolling around (it actually has rolled around- in fact as I write this, it’s now December 28th…), we, either as Christians or those who observe Christmas not because of the faith aspect but because of the family one; start to become more generous. Have you noticed it? We start shopping and act a little kinder to strangers. We help more at the grocery store. We are more courteous and polite, more emotive and empathetic, more encouraging and reassuring. We say the words ‘merry Christmas’ to our fellow man (do we really mean the words though? But that is reserved for another post entirely!), and during the December period, we aim to at least maybe support one charity, go the church more often, try to detach ourselves from social media, and maybe, just maybe, love our enemies a bit more. But what happens once the year ends and we’re faced with New Year’s Day the next year?
I reckon people are more habitual than they themselves think. I know, it may be me jumping the gun a bit, and being over presumptuous and stereotypical, but I think that when it all comes down to it, do we really stop and think about what Jesus has done for us this Christmas and every Christmas. The reason why we all can celebrate the holiday and live in the freedom and knowledge that we have eternal life, is because of Jesus coming the Earth in a manger, and living life as a human, up until the age of 33 where He began His ministry, embarking on the journey that ultimately resulted in His death and resurrection, saving us all from our sin and reuniting us with God our Father and Saviour. When everything is stripped away, we ought to realise that Christmas is a holiday that needs to be celebrated to the full, and with reverence to our Creator. When we each look within ourselves, can we say with 100% certainty that we acknowledge this fact on December 25th more than we currently do?
If I were to ask you to describe your Christmas and what you normally do, then maybe I’d receive a half an hour in depth description about which type of turkey each family member enjoys the most, or about which present gets reused over and over the years despite no family member actually enjoying it. Or which carols you and your family would like to sing the most. Simply put, everyone’s Christmas celebrations are different. But what probably stays constant, and is something people across all faiths I reckon agree with, is that innate desire to spend Christmas with family, and the notion that we can be a better person than we are right now. It’s as if Christmas is a time where we mostly do become better versions of ourselves, but after New Year’s Day, the ‘good’ inside us becomes dormant again. At least until 364 days later, when it’s Christmas again… Why is that so?
Rather than rip into society for being chameleons and acting one way during the most special holiday of the year, and like another during the other days of the year, I will just leave you with three songs that speak about the season and living our life in accordance to the belief that Jesus was born for us and died for us for every day of our life, not just the days in December. Jason Bare’s “Christmas All The Time”, Josh Wilson’s “Once A Year” and Unspoken’s “Christmas Everyday” each speck to me in many different facets about the notion of living life like it’s Christmas all the time, so I would encourage you to listen to these tracks, and see what God wants you to do for the year ahead. Is it really to act like Scrooge and count money? Be insular and only give to our neighbours and those in need only when it suits us? Or is it to be the hands and feet of Jesus to everyone around us no matter the day or time of the year? Something to ponder about as we come to the end of 2016.
Til next time!