Our world is in a mess. But Jesus came into the midst of our mess so that through faith in Him, we could rise above it. This is cause for rejoicing. But not everyone gets it.
The three reasons people don’t know it’s Christmas anymore:
- Minimizing the mission of Christ.
- Discarding the law of Christ.
- Refusing to live the love of Christ.
Minimizing the mission of Christ. Rewind to Matthew 1:20, 21. “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because He will save his people from their sins.”
Jesus came to save us from our sins. That’s the reason He came. And that’s also the reason He was crucified. But rationalization has made everything OK. What is “sin”? Rationalization instead of repentance is why people don’t know it’s Christmas. And if there is no sin—nothing for which we stand condemned before a Holy God—then there is no need of a savior.
The joy of Christmas is freedom from sin. This is the only thing worth celebrating because unless our sin has been dealt with, we are partying on the Titanic! They will know it’s Christmas only as we remember the mission of Christ—salvation from sin.
Discarding the law of Christ. Even as Herod tried to kill the baby so he would not have a rival to His throne, by diminishing the law, we follow in Herod’s steps, erasing the need for a Savior so we can continue worshipping ourselves. How many ways are we as a society telling God in no uncertain terms, “LEAVE ME ALONE”?
What gives the Christmas story it’s power is the recognition of my lostness—only then can I celebrate being found.
All you need to do to erase Christmas is to erase the law. And to erase the law removes the need of a Savior. The solution? Get rid of the law, right? No. Allow the Holy Spirit to write new code: “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” (Heb. 10:16, 17) They will know it’s Christmas only as we love the law of Christ.
Refusing to live the love of Christ. Jesus was born to save and that means He was born to change things—primarily, the hearts of men.
Rewind to Luke 6:27-36. This kind of love is perhaps the greatest reason people look into the box of peace and find it empty. It’s because we refuse to live this way. We insist on our rights, revenge, and pay back. It’s much easier to love Elvis at Christmas than our enemies isn’t it? For all our celebrating, we are not more like Jesus. The displays get bigger and better, the sales begin earlier and stick around longer, and the hate goes deeper, the unbelief grows wider, and our lives become more shallow. They will know it’s Christmas only as we live the love of Christ.
Christmas is a rescue mission, not a Hallmark television special, or a door-buster sale at Target. It’s a “sin-buster” exchange—your hopelessness for His hope; your sorrow for His joy; your darkness for His light; your turmoil for His peace; your sin for His righteousness; your death for His life. And because of these exchanges, the manger is full, and the only thing empty this Christmas is the tomb. Glory to God in the highest! –Pastor Randy