False Expectations of Christmas

My wife and I watched a rendition of the Christmas story last night,  and I'm so glad we took time to do that.  Watching the story of Luke 2 put to film really helps you to identify with the human elements of the event so much more effectively.  But overall, watching the story shows just how far modern Christmas celebrations have strayed from what's real and what isn't.

First of all, Christmas really doesn't have anything to do with receiving gifts.  It's actually about receiving the gift.  Jesus is the real gift that each of us has been given.  The Christmas story is the re-telling of that glorious event that took place in the first century but was prophesied in the Scriptures all the way back in Genesis 3:15.  The ancient text said,

The son of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent.

Do you need to be reminded that the perennial curse of sin caused by the serpent lying and tempting Adam and Eve was the introduction of doubt, death, disease, fear, hopelessness, and every form of human depravity?  That”s right, and it all started with Satan working through the serpent not long after the dawn of creation.

Isaiah later prophesied in the eighth century BC that a virgin would conceive the coming Messiah who would be God, the Prince of Peace, the King of KIngs, but instead of establishing an immediate kingdom, He would die in the place of sinners so they could be forgiven of their sin and be in His future kingdom on earth one day (Isa 7:14, 9:6, 53:1-12).

The hope of Christmas is about Him!  When gift giving, parties, celebration, family dinners, and everything else we do flows out from celebrating Jesus' birth and all He means to our world, then everything else makes perfect sense.  Once it all is separated from HIm it becomes just an excuse for another meal, party, drink, or dance.  In other words, it loses its value and therefore its subsequent ability to impact a life.

I feel for the many friends and family members near and far who suffer at Christmastime with doubt, depression, and hopelessness.  It's real and it is painful, but if that’s you today, please be reminded that genuine hope, love, and endless joy are not to be found in the wrappings of our modern Christmas celebrations unless those celebrations are anchored to the One who gives them genuine meaning.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11) 


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