It is that time of year again: Christmas. The time is right. We can feel it in the air; however, the feeling should be stronger in our hearts. We should not know the season because of what we see with our eyes: stockings, trees, and presents. We should know the season due to our devotion to Jesus Christ Himself. Beloved, the time is right, but I believe many of us are at the wrong place.
Christmas is about the manger not the mall. The angels told the shepherds about the Baby lying in a manger, and that is exactly what they found. The inn was not the place for the young family. Many of the places we find ourselves in this season are not the places for us. In the manger God gave us His Only Begotten Son. At the mall we gather presents soon forgotten and outdated. At the manger the world was shown the meaning of love. At the mall we get glimpses of the meaning of lust. At the manger there was worship. At the mall there is ingratitude. Where are you spending your time?
Christmas is about the cross and not the Christmas tree. The manger exists only because of the cross. We can be saved because of His birth AND death AND resurrection. The cross is what really gives meaning and purpose to the manger. At the risk of being labeled a “Scrooge”, let me go ahead and encourage you to focus on the right thing at the right time. The greatest gift came on the cross, but we put second rate happiness under a tree. The cross is about sacrifice. The tree is about gathering. The cross is about giving. The tree is about receiving. The cross is the single greatest act of love in all of history. The tree is a feast of selfishness that we will try to outdo next year. Where are you spending your time?
If we are going to keep Christ in Christmas, we have to get some things out of Christmas that never should have been there. The time is right for worship. The time is right for a Christ- centered and Christ-exalting Christmas. Put away that which does not point to Christ. Get out of the wrong places. It is a shame to me that this is where so many churches miss the mark. A big man in a red suit should NEVER give any competition to the One who died for us. Worship is about Jesus Christ, the Eternal One, who was born and died for sinners. We will gnash our teeth when some store refuses to say “Merry Christmas,” but what are we doing to ensure the season is about worship? Leave the mall and dwell at the manger. Forsake the tree and embrace the cross.
“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son” (Galatians 4:4). The time is ripe for the contemplation of John 1:14. Beloved, the time is now. We are called forth to celebrate and worship the fact that God has come and dwelt among us. However, our location may be off. Where are you spending your time? We at Dunn Memorial Baptist pray that your Christmas is filled with true worship at the right places. The mall can survive without you. The tree is not a necessity. Worship is. Worship is essential to this and every season. Where are you spending your time?