Thoughts on Christmas Time

Christmas time is in full force. Presents have been bought, lights have been put up, and our tree looks wonderful. It’s a completely typical Christmas, except that maybe it doesn’t 100% feel like it yet. But that’s okay. Christmas time is a great time for many things like reconnecting with family, friends, loved ones, remembering those who have passed on, and remembering what the season “is all about.”

Just this week as I was listening to Chris Tomlin’s new album Love Ran Red, I was crushed by the truth that so often Christ steps into full focus around this time each year, and passes without much significant changes to many people’s lives, myself included. Christmas for me has always been a time that I’ve enjoyed the traditions and the songs and even taken glimpses into the beauty and wonder of Christ. But I’ve been focused on the wrong things too and even skeptical, at times, of all the holly and jolly saying “if Christ is so important, why does He often play such a small role in all of this? Even in my own Christmas?”

As the song At The Cross played out, I was overcome with the truth of the gospel and the power of Christ’s birth. The lyrics beautifully reminded me where this child in the manger was heading. His very purpose was to step out of heaven, to reconcile a people to Himself and commit His life as a sacrifice for our very own. Oh how often that truth rests behind much of the worry, hustle and bustle, and preparing that happens each year. This child, humble and low, reflected the very first truths about who He was and what He came to accomplish. And as this song moved me, the bridge, originally about the cross, translated for me into a beautiful response to the birth of Christ;

“Here my hope is found,
Here on holy ground,
Here I bow down,
Here I bow down”

Christmas, and all of very life, is about experiencing and declaring this very truth. In the life, work, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ our only hope for salvation is found and through that He deserves everything. My prayer is that this Christmas people would come to realize that more deeply, in more reality, and with more trust. Don’t let this Christmas pass without finding time to relish and enjoy this very powerful message, what Christmas and all of life is about.

But also, if our very lives are fixated on experiencing and declaring this truth, then it should change our approach to this season. If we are to be “[presenting] our lives as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) to God, then we should be offering each day to God, each moment, even this season to God. And rather than becoming skeptical or getting lost in the merriment, how can we make Christmas about bringing Christ further glory? How can our traditions show others the majesty of Christ? How can these songs remind us of deep spiritual truth? How can conversations be turned to reflect what Christ really came to do? Rather than seeing Christmas as not being about Christ, why can’t we work to make it so?

If we truly believe that Jesus is our very hope and joy, we should share Him and His message with those that are in our lives. As we remember the “reason for the season,” I hope we as Christians bring others alongside us to worship the Prince of Peace, the King of Glory, the Lord of All.

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