Every Christmas there is a big push to “keep Christ in Christmas”. There is good reason for this push because of the secularization of our society and this very Christian holiday. However this year I have taken a step back to really think about what it means to keep Christ in Christmas. Are we just trying to keep the name Christ in the word Christmas? Are we trying to keep the religious symbolism of the Christian holiday? What does it truly mean to keep Christ in Christmas?
Because of these questions I decided to look once again at the incarnation of Christ to see what keeping Christ in Christmas really means. Here are a few observations that I have found.
What We Can Learn From The Incarnation Of Christ To Help Us Put Christ Back Into Christmas Personally
The first question that we have to ask ourselves is why did God decide to send Jesus to the world in the first place. What was the purpose of the incarnation of Christ? If we understand this question then maybe we can put Jesus back into Christmas the right way. So why did God send Jesus, and why did He send him as a babe in the manger?
The Emmanuel principle.
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
In this one very simple verse we get a truly profound principle. The whole reason that God sent Jesus was so that He could walk among us and be in us. God sent Jesus so that we could be reconciled to Him and that both God and man could have an intimate relationship with one another.
If you stop and think about that for a second, it has profound and deep meaning. The God of the universe cared so much about you and I that He sent His son to make relationship possible. He wanted to be with us. Because of this principle, what do you think would be a good way for us to put Christ back into Christmas?
For me, that means to stop what I am doing and getting so involved in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, and make time to personally spend time with our Heavenly Father. The whole purpose of the Christmas event was not to celebrate gift giving, family, or making our children happy. None of those things are bad things in and of themselves. The purpose of the Christmas event from God’s perspective was to cultivate a relationship between Himself and us. So if we are to put Christ back into Christmas, then that must mean that we are going to honor the wishes of the one that gave the gift of His son and cultivate that relationship that He so earnestly desires.
The infusion principle.
The next question we need to ask ourselves is why did Christ come as a babe in a manger? He could have came as a conquering hero in the clouds for the nation of Israel. He could have came as a angry and vengeful God desiring to punish mankind for his evil ways. There are many ways that He could have came to earth but God sent Him as a babe in a manger.
I believe that the reason He did this was to show the true heart of God towards us. It was not God’s desire to exercise positional authority as the God of the universe, but to develop relational authority as the Father who loves His children. Jesus explained this principle in the book of John when He said,
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
When we look at the life and the heart of Jesus we are seeing the heart of God the Father. His whole desire was to reconcile people to Himself. This shows that it was not God’s desire to rule man by dictate, but to change man by relationship. We can learn a very valuable lesson in this in how we put Christ back into Christmas.
God infused Himself into the lives of everyday people. He chose to walk among us. He influenced people by relationship and not by decree. When we are encouraging our society to put Christ back into Christmas, I think it might behoove us to follow the example of God. It is not going to do us any good to complain to store owners that they have changed Christmas to Xmas. It is not going to do us any good to take atheists to court over nativity scenes. What will do us much more good is to bless the store owners with the same acts that Jesus did to the people around Him. Ask them what their needs are and pray for them and help them in their endeavors. Find the atheists that fought against your nativity scenes and make it a point to establish relationship with them and be a living love letter from God to them.
1 Peter 2:21
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
So to honestly put Christ back into Christmas, we are all going to have to start following the steps of Jesus. The example that God sent was not one of positional authority demanding adherence by dictate of law, but one of relational authority changing the hearts of people because of the example and life that we lead. Because of this, if we are honestly going to be a Christmas event in the lives of others it is going to take humbling ourselves, laying down our lives for others, and establishing relationship purposefully with those that might not be the types of people we would normally do this with.
So I ask you the question. Are you going to put Christ back into Christmas this year?
This article was first published on my website Taber's Truths