Monday, December 24, 2012

It's NOT the end of the world, but what about Christmas?


According to the Mayan calendar I shouldn't be typing on my computer today.  The end of the world should have happened on December 21, 2012.  The speculation surrounding that date has been made into movies, some were scared to send their children to school.   Meanwhile, the schools here were canceled due to weather and a lack of power at one of the schools.  We didn't rejoice, in fact my teenagers were pretty distraught.  They had hoped to finish up their final exams that day.  That day may go down in history as the first day that my children were NOT excited about a snow day.

I have to ask the question:  Were you concerned?  In our house we made jokes.  I also informed my children that if Jesus did decide to come back on that day I was ready.  I operate under what I know to be fact.  The Bible says that no man knows when the coming will be.  The Mayans were not told before the Son.  That’s a fact.  The Mayans probably got tired of calendar making and instead started working on something else.  I have no idea what happened, maybe they thought it would be funny to mess with a future generation they wouldn't be around to see, and just stopped. 

It wasn't the end of the world but is it the end of Christmas as we know it?  All over the world people are finishing their Christmas shopping and wrapping in preparation for the big day.  We count gifts and make sure that we have enough for everyone; we think to be sure we haven’t left anyone out.  We get together with family and some members don’t even speak to each other.  Some go into debt in an effort to provide their children with the best possible Christmas and for what?  What does Christmas mean?  I hear people asking for specific gifts.  “Johnny wants a pair of jeans but they must come from the Buckle because otherwise he won’t wear them.”  “Sally wants Ugg boots.”  “Fred wants a flat screen TV.”  Seriously, I have to ask myself what happened to Christmas? 

In a manger thousands of years ago a Savior was born with no crib for a bed.  He was wrapped in swaddling cloths and placed in a manger.  No heat, no air conditioning, no Pampers, no layette, no hospital staff, no sterile conditions did our Savior have for a beginning.  No He was born in a barn with farm animals and the smell of well…farm animals.  Do you get it?  Did Mary have a baby shower?  Did the mother of our Savior, a teenage girl, get the things she would need to care for a newborn?  No.  She was visited by three Wise Men who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  What was she supposed to do with that?  They rejoiced.  They celebrated the birth of the Son of God. 

What are we celebrating?  We get together with our families and we exchange gifts and sometimes we don’t exchange words.  We don’t even see them the rest of the year.  We make no effort.  We buy them gifts and send them on their way and think that covers us for the rest of the year.  Is this of God?  Is this what God intended for us to do in celebration of the greatest gift known to mankind?  I hardly think so.  I am not saying we shouldn't get together with our families.  I am not even saying we shouldn't exchange gifts.  What I am saying is this:  Can we do those things and remember the purpose?  Can we do those things and remember why we celebrate in the first place?  Or have we become so commercialized that we can’t even remember why? 

I don’t want to go through the motions.  I don’t want to get so wrapped up in the things of this world that I have forgotten who gave them to me to begin with.  I don’t want to forget the true meaning of Christmas.  I want to REJOICE for our Savior was born.  In ALL things rejoice.  

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