The first thing I put out for Christmas was the nativity set my mom got for us when I was a kid. It is one of the greatest treasures of her memory but also gives me the reminder of what Christmas is really about.
Like everyone else the time of year, the Christmas tree, the exchange of gifts, the myth of Santa, the parties, all of that is something we enjoy, especially watching our little kids be enthralled by the moment when they see and open their gifts. Memories abound of the snow, the family, and the ones no longer with us, and the love we shared with each other.
But I looked around someone's house at the decorations the other day and asked a question, Where's Jesus? With all the pomp and circumstance of Christmas there was no reminder of the birth of Jesus anywhere to be seen. Be sure, it's not that the nativity set is magical, but it is a reminder of what the season is all about and it is something we can look at to remember the greatest gift the world has ever received.
So I pose this question to all of us as I did to them. Where's Jesus in our Christmas this year? My then 9 year old Grandson asked the preacher if he could say something before Church began at Christmas time a few years ago. He said "Without Christ in Christmas all you have is a mas (mess)". He came up with that on his own, no prompting from me.
Theoretically the world is in a proverbial mess right now because the answer to that question is "we're not sure". We have isolated him to a building instead of inviting him into a culture. It has become more important to become politically correct rather than spiritually sound.
I can tell you where he is at right now, looking down at us from heaven, probably shaking his head in wonder at whether we will remember what the cost of that gift he gave us was and whether we will still use it.
Just a thought - and Merry Christ-mas!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.