I will go out on a limb and say that this lesson might not be received well by some, especially those who are under the age of eight or nine years old.
To begin, I've often wondered how the many secular Christmas myths got started and how they made their way into Christian homes.
Needless to say, the secular powers that be, have done an amazing job through the ages. In message, marketing and music these myths have become ingrained.
- There are those magical elves, working efficiently to get Santa’s work done
- There is Rudolph the red nosed reindeer and his eight named buddies (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen) who pull Santa’s sleigh
- We can't forget Frosty the snowman
Then of course there is the big one we call Santa Claus. He lives on the North Pole, and is super-human in that he flies all over the world at supersonic speed and can magically enter each home on Christmas Eve, leaving gifts for the children under the tree. All for cookies and milk.
Kids line up every year to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas.
Why? Because they have been taught that Santa is the one who can grant their every wish.
Before we go further, please allow me to explain that I am not a disciple of Ebenezer Scrooge, the fictional character that came from the mind of Dickens. Our children enjoyed the Christmas myths as much as others and it was a joy to watch.
Therefore, I am not advocating the removal of all of our Christmas myths. However, I am thinking of "balance." All aspects of life need balance. When it comes to our spiritual life, we must have a proper balance.
Think about the following for a few minutes;
- Many if not most children learn about and believe in Santa Claus long before they fully learn about and believe in Jesus.
- How would things be different if we taught our very young children as fervently about God and that all blessings flow from Him?
- What if we taught our very young children that praying to God on bended knee is actually more important than sitting on Santa's knee?
Our hope and prayer is that this Christmas, more families will put things in proper balance, teaching and observing Christmas as it truly is.
Christmas is not about the presents we give and receive. It is not about the food. It is not about the tree and the lights. It is not about the festive atmosphere or parties.
Christmas is about God and His gift to human-kind. It is a spiritual observance of the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior and His love for us. It is about the love, mercy and grace of God.
The following verses explain Christmas very well, without mentioning baby Jesus, the stable or the manger;
Colossians 1:15-20 New International Version
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
As we celebrate this wonderful time of year, let us remember that it is not as important to say Merry Christmas to someone, as it is to show the love of Jesus in our lives.
The most important and beautiful thing we can do this Christmas is to let others see Jesus in us.
Let us help those less fortunate than we are and let us brighten the life of everyone we come in contact with, by being the light of the world that Jesus calls us to be.
Yes, there are secular Christmas myths that we all enjoy, but the true meaning of Christmas is a miracle, given to us by God.
Let us thank Him this Christmas for the greatest gift of all.