Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Christmas is not your birthday!"

The church I've been attending since the end of the summer mentioned this line, which the pastor has apparently said more than once: "Christmas is not YOUR birthday!"

I love this Christmas-birthday line for a few reasons. We tend to fall into the trap of treating Christmas like an all-out shopping glut. Savvy marketers are constantly telling us about the latest deals and why we can't possibly live without them. They reinforce a message of materialism and the need for stuff. Don't get me wrong, I don't think you shouldn't go buy your 8-year-old a toy for Christmas. But in our politically-correct environment, we never hear the same intensity for the message of our salvation through Christ that we hear for the message of a door-buster deal at 3am at Wal-Mart.

It's not OUR birthday, it's HIS birthday. We celebrate the birth of Christ, and through Him the birth of our own hope, love, faith, and peace. So I guess in a way it is our birthday, because we received these gifts through Him, unearned and undeserving. We celebrate Christmas by giving gifts to ones we love, but I challenge you to rethink your definition of a gift, and challenge you to broaden the scope of those you love. I challenge you to do something for someone who you don't know, who maybe didn't earn anything from you this year, who maybe doesn't deserve anything this year.

Maybe that's why I like the Christmas Carol: a undeserving, harsh man receives grace and a second chance for Christmas. Really, aren't we all the Scrooge? Take your second chance this Christmas.

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