We talk about ‘Putting Christ BACK into Christmas’, but the reality is He has never been in Christmas.
We forget that Jesus was actually born in September in the year 5BC, but our early church leaders thought that if we celebrated his birthday on December 25th, when the pagan world held a midwinter festival characterised by drunkenness and feasting then we could transform it into something better, with giving (eg St Nicklaus) at its heart rather than drinking.
But the pagan empire has fought back to keep Christmas the midwinter season of eat, drink, be merry and slob out in front of TV, and get drunk. Christmas starts not with Advent, but Adverts, the stunningly produced Christmas adverts on TV, and Black Friday, when the spend, spend, spend spirit is unleashed in full force upon us
December is a battle zone of intense spiritual conflict, a battle for the heart and soul of our nation and our children. Taking ‘Selfies’ (an obsession with many) isn’t just what people do on phones; we can all succumb to do ‘selfies’ and make lists of what we want and even go out and buy ourselves presents ‘cos we deserve it’. If we are not careful we will find the pagan Christmas spirit has seeped into us, and it’s become about ME.
THIS IS A TIME WHEN CHRISTIANS ARE NEEDED TO STEP FORWARD AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE
‘CHRISTMAS TIME, MISTLE TOE AND RHYME, DIFFERENCE MAKING TIME’
Let’s not say ‘I hate Christmas’ and isolate ourselves from what’s going on, but instead see it as a time to go against the flow and do Christmas differently. We can go to parties, but we DON’T HAVE TO GET DRUNK, or be greedy and stuff ourselves to have a good time!
Let’s do Christmas differently!
Is there anything different about what goes on in your home over Christmas from next door? Could anyone tell you are a Christian by looking at your decorations? Is there anything about Jesus in your home that people will see who come into your house? I asked in our local Garden Centre where their nativity sets were? Round the back of the Christmas decorations they said! Round the back. Out of sight.
When we were Carol singing in our High Street on Friday night with a 15 piece brass band, we put a babies cot in the middle of the pavement with three guys in high visibility jackets standing guard. People’s curiosity got the better of them, stopping to look in the cot, asking the security guards what the empty cot was for. ‘There’s a baby coming’ was all they said. It was enough. We were putting Christ into Christmas.
- Bottles of booze on the sideboard?
- Piles and piles of presents under the tree?
- So much food that your dustbin will heave with wasted unused food
CHRISTMAS 2016 FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS – we are here, the difference makers!
People don’t send Christmas cards now like they used to – splash out and send them, with a Christian note. People will value them, put them up, look at them. Mission missiles.
Invite neighbours in for mince pies – conversation will inevitably come round to ‘What are you doing over Christmas?’, or ‘I hate Christmas’. I like saying, ‘it thrills me to think God put skin and a nappy on to become real to us’.
My favourite Christmas song is ‘I wish you a nappy Christmas, and a happy new year’.
Let’s tame this beast called Christmas. Let’s seize the day – let’s grab it for Jesus and be salt and light in our families, amongst our friends and work colleagues, and to those who live down our street.
Ecclesiastes 5:4 says, “ don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools”. Don’t delay. Do what you already know to do. Put Christ INTO YOUR Christmas. Tell me what you are doing; lets encourage each other and share tactics!