Many times the celebration of Christmas especially in the United States has become an opportunity for commercialism to creep into our lives in enormous amounts, disrupting our normal day-to-day schedule that we maintain the rest of the year.
We are bombarded with once-a-year advertising, merchandising, and changes to our daily lives and to our Christian lives at our churches and elsewhere. In many ways it seems we are victims of commercialism to the point we cannot escape, and we get the feeling the real meaning of Christmas is lost in the ribbons, glitter and wrappings of gifts.
Yes, this is true; we let Christmas become very big in our lives and very dominating in our attitudes toward others, our time is consumed in events and in ways we never consider the rest of the year.
Christmas and the pageantry of Christmas in the United States are so large the other religions of the world take exceptions to our total immersion into Santa Clause and the Birth of Jesus. There are groups in the world that don’t believe in Jesus, that are constantly trying to keep Christ out of Christmas.
Those of us in the Christian Church that truly believe will never leave Christ out of Christmas, or if we do, even unintentionally, then we missed something along the way in our Christian learning.
Sometimes, I will admit, the whole experience of Christmas can be large, to the point we wish some or all of the commercialism would go away. Some of you may have read the John Grisham Book Skipping Christmas and remember how out of step a family became when they tried to not acknowledge Christmas. They tried to be the only house in the neighborhood that did not decorate for Christmas. The results were disastrous for this family.
Perhaps, even though we are overwhelmed by all that seems to come along with Christmas, we may be missing the greatest chance of the year to take God’s message to a hurting world.
Because of the pageantry of Christmas the door is open for the believers, to declare the message to people on an individual basis and for churches to declare the message of Jesus on an even larger scale.
With the ice of normality broken, the time is perfect to interject the message of the Messiah into the world. So what, if they hear the same message about the Birth of our Savior over and over in music and in testimony during the Holiday season, the good news may eventually sink in to those that really need to hear the message.
The message may be two thousand years old but Christians the world over anticipate the good news of the Birth of Christ just like they did the first time they heard it.
If you are in a mood of just going through the motions of Christmas, then do something out of the ordinary for someone, maybe someone you don’t even know. If you make a concerted effort to do something nice for someone, they may receive a gift, but you will receive blessings that will lift your spirits.
The Lay Ministry team wishes you a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
God be with you in the New Year,
Steve Lyles-Conference Lay Leader
Cathy Williams-Mountain Lakes
Charlie Carlton-South Central
June Wilson-Director Lay Servant Ministries