Can we remember what Christmas is really about?
Christmas is about God’s incredible gift. There’s a baby in the headlines. Prince William and his wife Catherine are expecting their first child. The Royal Palace’s Dec. 3 announcement led network newscasts that evening.
Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said, “We’re riding on a royal high at the moment at the end of the diamond jubilee year. People enjoyed the royal romance last year and now there’s this. It’s just a good news story . . .”
This child is expected to play an important role in British national life for decades and will be in the spotlight from now on (www.heraldextra.com).
As Princess Diana said in 1981 when she was carrying William, “The whole world is watching my stomach.”
There’s another royal baby who probably won’t make many newscasts this Christmas season. We’ll hear about sales, stress, Grinch-like crimes and maybe a few feel-good stories that spread Christmas cheer.
Yet, will the world recall that a simple peasant virgin named Mary conceived miraculously, and delivered her baby boy in the roughest of conditions in a grotto in Bethlehem? That angels announced the news of His arrival to common shepherds watching sheep on a nearby hillside? That these same looked-down-on shepherds were the first to travel and see this newborn king?
His name is Jesus, which is literally Savior, according to Matthew’s gospel, “for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). And He’s God’s gift to the world. Christmas is His big day. Will we focus on Him?
• • •
Christmas is about sharing. I’ve noticed on Facebook that many people are observing “25 days of Christmas cheer” by intentionally performing acts of kindness every day to spread the Christmas spirit. For example, someone has already dropped a diamond ring in a Salvation Army kettle.
Preceding this Christmas emphasis was a compassionate response to a person in need on a cold November evening in New York City.
New York police officer Lawrence Diprimo saw a homeless man with no shoes and decided to do something about it. The officer was wearing two pairs of socks and still had freezing feet, so he knew this man was cold. He asked the man his shoe size, then went into a store and bought the man a pair of all weather boots, spending $75 of his own money.
“I really didn’t think about the money,” he said. “I said, I don’t care what the price is, we just have to help him out.”
Unknown to Diprimo, a tourist took a photo of the officer giving the man the gift, put it on the internet, and now Diprimo is a hero.
How far should we go to show kindness? I know a Georgia fan who saw an Alabama fan in the grocery store after the SEC championship game decked in Crimson from head to toe. As they passed, she said, “Roll Tide!”
That may be taking this kindness thing too far . . .
• • •
Christmas is about reflecting. I was in a local Chick-fil-a one recent Saturday afternoon buying a sandwich for lunch. As I waited for my order to be filled, I noticed Santa had just finished his shift and was sitting down to eat. He paused, bowed his head, and prayed, not a short, to the point blessing, but an extended prayer.
I thought, what a picture this would make. Santa gets a lot of grief at Christmas, but here he was honoring the Lord by sincerely thanking God for His food, and sharing whatever else was on his heart.
I respected his privacy and didn’t take his picture, but I was inspired by his example and his devotion as He adored the Savior. If Santa is keeping Christ in Christmas as busy as he is, surely we can, too.
Scripture says that Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. She adored the Lord as she reflected on God’s perfect gift. Have you taken time to ponder?
• • •
I John 4:9 reads, “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” Merry Christmas to you and yours! Thank you for your faithful readership.
Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, GA. The church family invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Join them for the Christmas Eve Candlelight service at 6 p.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.