Every year when I sit down to prepare the sermons for the Christmas season, I think “this year we’re going to focus on the TRUE meaning of Christmas.” I wonder if people get tired of hearing me say that year after year. I don’t think I’ll say it this year. But the sentiment isn’t lost because I do have trouble getting my mind around the depth of the true meaning of Christmas and I’m not sure I’ll ever fully comprehend it: God becoming a man, born in a manger, with the sole purpose of dying at the hands of those He created to pay the penalty for his sins. This is just a little too profound for me to grasp. That’s why it’s great to visit this truth often.

I don’t think it’s possible to get the real meaning of Christmas at Christmas time. Christmas comes at the wrong time of the year. I mean all the activities of Christmas takes my focus off of the true meaning of Christmas. All of my family Christmas pictures growing up were about the toys and trees. I got my first bicycle at Christmas. I loved that bicycle! (I had training wheels on it for 3 years!) We buy presents for everyone in our family. We send cards and or letters to those far away. I don’t get the “tree” idea. Where does the pine tree show up in the Christmas story? I like the idea of lights because Jesus is the “light of the world” and that’s a great symbol. But we take what’s inside, lights, and put them on the outside. Then take what’s outside, trees, and put them on the inside. What’s that all about? We give and receive presents which is important because it’s the real meaning of Christmas, giving to others because God so loved that He gave His only son.

The main problem I have with Christmas is that I’m always too busy with the Christmas season to really enjoy Christmas. We have two Christmas Eve services every year which are the highlight of our season’s holiday. Since Christmas is on Sunday this year and we’ll have two services Saturday night, we’ll only have an 11am service on Christmas day. That should make things a little easier. So my vow this year is no matter how much activity we have at church or with the family and no matter how much energy I put into trees, lights, shopping, food and other holiday activity, I’m not going to let any of that block my view of the true meaning of Christmas: God have us Himself so that we might have eternal life!

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger…” Luke 2:7