Some church folk bemoan the fact that “Christmas isn’t what it used to be.” They say it’s too commercial and that we no longer “Keep Christ in Christmas.” They wonder what our country has come to when we can no longer say “Merry Christmas,” and to be politically correct, we now have to say “Happy Holidays.” They are amazed at the editorials and Facebook posts chiming in on the Christmas cups at Starbucks . . . make that “Holiday” cups!
Yes, there are many aspects of Christmas today that we could be critical of, and for those of us who serve the church, it is a busy season requiring a lot more work.
Bring up Christmas, and they say, “Bah Humbug,” but I say, “Thank you, Jesus.” Instead of focusing on so many negatives, let’s reflect on the positives of the season.
- The obvious positive is more people come to church! Folks who may not darken the doors of a church all year long will attend a Christmas Eve service.
- People are more generous and charitable during Advent and Christmas. They give to numerous organizations, providing meals, toys, clothes, etc. It’s the one time of year the homeless and those who are less fortunate get noticed.
- Christmas brings families together, sometimes physically and spiritually. In the church during Christmas, we hear familiar, well loved passages of scripture and hymns, which makes those who are infrequent worshippers feel more connected.
- Christmas is traditional. For some folks it’s a “tradition” to attend worship during the Christmas season.
- It’s a season of joy.
Christmas is a wonderful opportunity for the church to show the world that God loves us. The message is good news. God loved us so much he sent his son as a newborn baby—and who doesn’t love a baby. When so much of the news we hear is bad, the message of Christmas is good. We sing “Joy to the Word, the Lord has Come.”
So Christmas is an opportune time for evangelism. It’s a good time to invite friends and neighbors to church. It’s a good time to talk about faith in a non-threatening, non-judgmental way. It’s a good time to be grateful for the gift of salvation and the promise of eternal life.
It’s true, Christmas may not be what it used to be, but when you consider all the good things associated with this season, Christmas truly is a miracle!