Everyone who has stopped long enough to consider what it means to believe knows that there is a great gulf between what we say we believe and what we really believe. The Christmas season illustrates this reality very well. Everyone who verbally subscribes to the historical facts acknowledges that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Son of God Who came to be the Savior of sinners. This means that most people who get involved in Christmas give verbal assent to this faith. But there are zillions of people who give that verbal assent who also are unwilling to die and face God. This is a fundamental contradiction between what is professed and what is actual. Everyone who really believes that Christ came to save sinners knows that our sins are not an issue between us and God any longer. To doubt that is to deny that Jesus died for our sins; or, at least, to deny that His death was really effective. But everyone who says he believes but is still tormented by the prospect of facing God, is, though a verbal believer, yet an unbeliever at heart.
The Christmas season challenges our professions of faith in many directions. Not only does it challenge our confidence in the face of our sins and our eventual death, it also challenges our confidence in the face of our present practices. For example, how would you feel if it was your birthday and a large group of people who claimed to be your relatives all assembled in your home and everyone received lavish gifts in large numbers--except you? You would begin to wonder just whose birthday it was, wouldn't you? Are we not doing this with Jesus' birthday? Most of the so-called Christian world is getting heavily into the commercial aspects of Christmas and are patently ignoring the Jesus Whose birthday it is supposed to be.
In at least two distinct ways. First, few are asking what Jesus would like to have on His birthday from us. His Word is pretty clear on that score in that it told us what His agenda in this world is. Unless our gifts are connected in some way to that agenda, we are ignoring whose birthday it is. Second, there are many gifts that will be given on the Savior's birthday that are an active and direct contradiction to His agenda. There will be many video tapes given on Christmas that are a direct contradiction to Jesus' message to men. There will be many toys given that undercut His message to children. There will be many other gifts that are designed to promote this world's agenda in opposition to Jesus'. And it will all be done with the good fuzzies of Christmas. But Jesus will be left out.
In our home we made it a practice long years ago that we would celebrate Christmas as Jesus' birthday, and we would celebrate our own birthdays as our own. Our children get the focus on their birthdays, and Jesus gets the focus on His. We have received great joy by so doing and would like to challenge you to give this Christmas season more thought than you have in the past.
After all, is it Jesus' birthday, or yours, or your children's, or grandchildren's? Whose?