It’s that time of year again, when we dust off the nativity sets, put up the fancy lights, and take a moment to reflect on the gift of Jesus to the world. It’s also the time of year that you often hear the phrase “Keep Christ in Christmas.” The world centers their celebration on the man in the big red suit, winter magic, simple red cups (gasp!) and generic holiday celebrations.
The world is not interested in celebrating the birth of a baby who is the Son of God, sent to earth to live a perfect life, die a cruel and horrific death in our place, only to return to life and promise to provide eternal life for all who believe. As incredible as that sounds to me and you, those who don’t know Jesus cannot understand these things.
1 Corinthians 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, because they are spiritually discerned.
When we say, “Keep Christ in Christmas,” who are we saying that to? Is it to a world and a people who do not have the Spirit of God living inside of them? Is it right for us to expect an unspiritual person who doesn’t know Jesus to celebrate and behave in the same way as a person who loves and serves Jesus Christ?
Maybe we shouldn’t fight to keep Christ in Christmas. Certainly, those who call themselves Christians should place the priority on Jesus during this time. The bigger problem is that too many followers of Jesus keep Christ in Christmas and leave Him there.
After the shepherds were told of the birth of “a Savior…Christ the Lord,” they hurried off to find the child.
Luke 2:17 When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about the child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
Did you catch it? These shepherds came in contact with Jesus and they couldn’t shut up about Him! They confirmed the news that they had been told and then “spread the word” about Jesus. They took Christ right out of the “manger scene” and carried the good news to their world.
As followers of Jesus, if all we ever do is get fired up about Jesus at Christmas time, we have tragically missed the point. Jesus cannot and should not be contained to Christmas. Take Christ out of Christmas and spread the good news about Him to the world the next day, the next week, the next month, and all year long. Maybe then the world will see that He is real to us and that He impacts every single day of our lives.
Dave Nicodemus is the Communications & Creative Arts Pastor and has served at Grace Polaris for over eight years, seven and a half of those as the High School Pastor. Dave joined the Grace staff after serving at a church in eastern Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he studied youth and family ministry, minoring in art at Grace College (2001) and completing a masters degree from Grace Theological Seminary (2003). He’s the husband of Carly and father to Jack, Henry, Emilia, and Charlie.