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Yarber: Are you celebrating Christmas?

December 13, 2012

Christmas is definitely in the air – especially the airways. Christmas movies are on every channel, interrupted by countless commercials showing the perfect Christmas gift. There are movies about a young boy wanting a husband for his mother, Santa promising a young girl a Christmas boyfriend, and a young soldier receiving a Christmas card from a girl he did not know. The titles go on and on – entertaining, perhaps, but lacking in substance. Even the movies that show right winning over wrong make no mention of the real reason for the season.
Macy’s always has extravagant commercials. Several years ago they featured several famous people, all giving reasons for a young girl to believe in Santa – “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa. Just believe!” How sad that those people have no hesitancy in proclaiming belief in a mythical character yet have no knowledge of Jesus, the One whose birthday we celebrate. How clever the enemy is to cloak his deceit in someone dressed in a red suit who shows up only one time a year and then relies on others to pay for the toys he gets credit for bringing. He often promises things he cannot deliver. Yet the One who is the Christ of Christmas has never broken a promise. His promises are always “Yes and Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20) – and He is always present!
Each year more and more retailers choose to leave the word “Christmas” out of their advertising and store displays. Many public schools have banned the use of the word Christmas; not allowing traditional Christmas carols to be sung or symbols of Christmas, such as nativity scenes, to be displayed. Instead a “winter holiday” is celebrated.
Without Christ in Christmas there would only be “mas,” which the dictionary does not recognize as a word. That means without Christ in Christmas there is no Christmas – and no reason to celebrate. But Christ IS in Christmas whether the world wants to admit it or not, and we WILL celebrate! We can even let the secular “trappings” of Christmas speak of Him. The lights that decorate houses and trees can remind us of Jesus, the Christ – the Light of the world! Songs that fill the air remind us that Jesus put a new song in our mouths that we might praise Him (Psalm 40:3). Gift giving and the Christmas tree remind us that He purchased the greatest and most expensive Gift – eternal life – for us by dying on a tree (Romans 6:23).
Jesus was born, lived, died, and rose again – and let us celebrate – with a Christ-filled Christmas!

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