Written by Hope Brakenhoff. Media by Sara Dawson.
The sound of your favorite Christmas song comes on and immediately the first thought many people have is a holiday where they get to open presents and spend time with family. While this is a part of Christmas, it is only one part. Christmas is not just another holiday that provides students with a couple of weeks free from classes, it is a celebration of something so much bigger than any of us can imagine. It is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Where does your first thought go when someone says Christmas? Do your thoughts go to Jesus, or do your thoughts go directly to the holiday and the presents you will presumably receive? As a Christian, it seems this holiday should be about a lot more than the presents under the Christmas tree. Christmas has become a holiday focused on ourselves rather than the reason for the season: Jesus. When you ask most people what they are celebrating for Christmas, very few people respond with the answer, the birth of Jesus. Christmas has become a holiday focused on what we can get for ourselves and those we love rather than the ultimate love given to us.
December 25th is the day we chose to celebrate the birth of our Savior. It is a day where we should be remembering God’s love for us. His love is so powerful that he sent His only son to die for us. This is the day that God promised us. He promised He would send a Savior and He did. In 1 John 4:9 it says, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” Jesus is the reason for the season, which means this season is all about love. As a Christian, we don’t have to forfeit the idea of Christmas to celebrate His birth. We can celebrate Jesus, while also celebrating the time we have for gift giving, drinking hot cocoa, and listening to cheesy Christmas songs.
As Christians, when the world around us is focusing on the presents and the cookies that accompany this holiday, how should we approach it? One way to avoid losing focus of this special day is to separate the two celebrations. One is Christmas and presents and fun times spent with family, but the other is a birthday celebration. We should approach the day as a holiday with the rest of the world, but also take time in the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus and what that means for our lives.
Jesus is the reason for the season. Jesus taught love to each and every one of us. He taught us to love and care for others. In Mark 10:44-45 Jesus teaches, “and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for all.” We should spend this season as a time where we are focusing on spreading more love than we ever have before, not on how much stuff we can get. Living knowing we are loved and sharing that with others is a beautiful gift. It is a way to share God’s love and to bless other people’s lives, especially those who don’t have as much as us.