Have we lost Christ in Christmas?

December 25, 2011 , published in Faith in Action Blog   by Nonku Vundla

In yesterday’s post I spoke about the commercialization of Christmas and how this sacred holiday has been turned into an opportunity for manufacturers to peddle all kinds of ‘festive’ products to gullible consumers. Despite the strong urge to refrain from the consumer culture, most of us seem to go down the same route year after year. But now that Christmas day is here, I  feel it even more that the whole reason for this day has been lost. In as much as we can blame advertising agencies for diverting our attention during the festive season, I think more and more Christians need to take responsibility for the ‘selective memory’ that most of us enjoy during the holiday season.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever might believe in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 is a verse well known to most Christians but often forgotten during the hustle and bustle of trying to be the perfect hosts who have the perfect Christmas menu and lovely decorations to match. Throughout the year, many Christians attend church and prayer meetings religiously but for some reason Christmas, a day that symbolises our salvation, is merely reduced to another public holiday.

Involvement in Christmas plays and singing well-loved Christmas carols was the perfect opportunity for us when we were children to remember and appreciate the birth of this anointed baby. However, as you get older, the logistics of the holiday season make it harder and harder to focus on the reason for Christmas, and without realizing it we go about our Christmas day without even thinking, let alone speaking, about Christ. I am such much guilty of this as anyone but as a believer in Christ I will try my hardest to make this and every other Christmas day a balance between celebration and meditation.

 I encourage all Christians who may be reading this, to use Christmas as a moment for personal and family reflection. As the day proceeds, I will make sure my children and I read the Bible together and discuss Christ’s role in our salvation. In my private time I hope to read a few passages of the Scripture and spend time in prayer thanking God for giving us the greatest gift possible. By sending his Son to die for us, God has given us eternal life. It’s up to us to turn off the noise of this world and tune into the frequency that finds us appreciating and acknowledging Christ’s greatness as the first-born son who came down and became flesh, just so that we could be reconciled to God.

When we celebrate Christ’s birth it should always be with the knowledge that he was born for one reason alone, to save us from a life of eternal suffering on this earth and beyond. Christ was born to die and by doing so he unshackled us from the fear of death. His life was the ultimate sacrifice that allows us to enter God’s Kingdom with gladness. It is only in that moment when we find Christ in our Christmas, that we will fully understand and celebrate a day that has brought life where death once reigned supreme.

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