The Celebration of Christmas

By: Woody Godbey

"The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up..." Matthew 4:16 This verse comes from the beginning of Jesus ministry.  The promise of the messiah.

Here we are, the third day of December and the Christmas season.  This is my favorite time of year…. I love the Christmas season. For those who have lost a loved one, Christmas can be difficult, especially because it is so filled with memories. It’s during the Christmas season I think of my parents, brother and other family members the most. So many memories are triggered. For some people, when they see other people having fun, it can bring a lot of sadness to them. It can even bring a person to the point where they would just like to skip Christmas altogether. Have you ever wanted to cancel Christmas? I have spoken to many people in the past who would have answered yes because of the pain and sadness they experience.  For millions of people around the world, Christmas is the worst time of the year.

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Then there are those who celebrate Christmas with all kinds of reveling without any thought of Jesus and His birth.  They celebrate a Christ-less Christmas with drunken parties that celebrate the worlds version of Christmas. I used to do that, and I can assure you, that is not what Christmas is about.

Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I am not saying that we should cancel the celebration of the birth of Christ. I am not saying that we should unstring our lights and put away our presents. But let's cancel the version of Christmas that has no place for Jesus and the Father. Let's cancel the version of Christmas that says, "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Let's cancel the version of Christmas that consists of endless hype and activities without any thought of Jesus.

Let's get back to what Christmas truly is: a celebration of the birth of Jesus. I love Christmas because Christmas to me is about a promise. Christmas is spending time with family and friends, enjoying holiday meals, laughing together, exchanging gifts, and worshiping together. I think all of these are a glimpse of things to come because Christmas is really a promise of heaven, a promise of something better.

You might look around and say, "I wish my loved one who is with the Lord could see this." You are looking at twinkling lights, beautiful decorations, the evergreen tree with beautiful wrapped gifts under it but don't you think what they are seeing is better than what you are seeing? You may be experiencing temporary joys, but your loved one is in the presence of God, seeing the Lord in all His glory. Now that is a Christmas worth celebrating.

Some of the store clerks may greet me with a happy holiday but they are going to get a MERRY CHRISTMAS back.  This season like every day is about Jesus.  If you find yourself down in the dumps during Christmas season, remember that your loved ones are experiencing true joy with the Lord.  And when you look at the evergreen tree, remember that it represents everlasting life. Enjoy this Christmas season with family, friends and faith.  God Bless!