Does Christmas Change Anything?
December 25, 2010
There is no doubt about it. There is not a single day of the year that is more looked forward to, more anticipated, more anything, than Christmas day. People look forward to Christmas as a time when something special should happen. Many await Christmas with an almost fantasy-like hope; hoping, expecting, that something momentous and special will occur. Whether it is a hope for a certain gift, or a visit from someone special, or a card, or a phone call, or whatever, the expectation is always there that something special should happen. Even the people who look on Christmas with trepidation and sadness, usually look on it that way because something has occurred that has dashed their hopes for something special.
However you look at it, there is the hope surrounding Christmas that things will be different, that things will change. You would think that with all these expectations, plans, and hope, there would be some solid evidence of Christmas being a huge life-changer. In other words, you would think that there would be some solid evidence that people's lives are changed because of Christmas. The reality is that this is not the case. This is not the case even with people to whom incredible things actually do happen on Christmas day. The special occurs, and then things quickly settle back to proceeding just as they have before. Something has happened, but still no real lasting change has occurred.
Why? Why isn't there any lasting change from Christmas? The reason is simple. People have turned the birth of Jesus into a day, into a party, into a reunion, into a gift, into a sentimental family experience, into everything but remembering what this day is supposed to be about (that is, if one is to celebrate it – we also need to remember that Jesus never told us to remember His birth; He only told us to remember His death). Christmas is something that people did because they wanted to remember the birth of Jesus, but slowly that remembrance began to shift focus. Christmas is being discussed as our great national tradition, consisting solely of Christmas songs, trees, lights, bells, turkey and presents. These traditions have nothing really to do with Christ. If Jesus were completely removed from the picture, but at the same time, our traditions and songs, our ornaments and gifts, were left alone, very few people would be perturbed. In fact, this is how an increasing number of people are celebrating Christmas already; thinking that this is what Christmas is all about, but then wondering why nothing has changed; wondering why tomorrow is no different than the day before Christmas or the day after Christmas. The fact is, without Jesus nothing at all will have changed.
My point is this: When we remember Jesus, every day that we remember Him – from the most mundane seemingly indifferent day to December 25th – has the potential to become a day filled with change... because Jesus changes everything, even our days.
If we let ourselves go back 2000 years to the birth of Jesus, we can see with clarity that the birth of Jesus changed everything. It even changed the way we reckon time, dividing it as B.C., that is, before Christ, or A.D., that is, Anno Domini, in the year of our Lord. Calendar or no calendar, creches or no chreches, from His birth to His death and resurrection, Jesus changes everything in our world. Jesus also changes everything in our lives if we follow Him and let Him.
For every single person on earth who turns to Jesus in faith, a new life with a new mind and a new hope is your's. Fear is changed to joy. Unbelief is changed to belief. Death is changed to life. Our mind is changed to a new mind – the mind of Christ. Life for oneself is changed to life in and for Christ.
There is a real reason why the most exciting day of the year is also the most disappointing day. It can never live up to its expectations because neither the best trimming on a turkey nor the latest gadget, while maybe bringing temporary feelings of happiness, can ever make the day to be truly joyful. This is because Jesus' coming did not bring things, it brought Himself, and when we take Him out of ANY day, let alone Christmas, that day will be an empty day. However, if you really know Jesus Christ, then the expectations are phenomenal: It is real and lasting change. It is real and lasting joy. It is real and lasting life. When Jesus is in each day of our life, we can sing with the pslamist, and with Jesus Himself: "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
So then, in answer to my original question: "Does Christmas change anything?" the answer of course is No. In fact, Christmas changes nothing, but the fact my friends is this... JESUS CHANGES EVERYTHING!
I wish all of you a Christmas day where Jesus' birth kindles a joy unspeakable in your hearts, and a week ahead that is filled with the true joy of the Lord!