Christmas – What’s it all About? - Hope 103.2

Christmas – What’s it all About?

As I have been thinking of Christmas, I am starting to wonder – is Christmas a religious holiday or a cultural holiday? It seems many think of it as part of the calendar of events, a cultural holiday, when we want to gather with family and friends to exchange some nice gifts and share a […]

By Chris WittsThursday 24 Dec 2015Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 3 minutes

As I have been thinking of Christmas, I am starting to wonder – is Christmas a religious holiday or a cultural holiday? It seems many think of it as part of the calendar of events, a cultural holiday, when we want to gather with family and friends to exchange some nice gifts and share a nice meal together.

Surveys have shown that in many countries, people like Christmas – they want to forget about the unhappy times during the year and experience the so called “Christmas spirit”, whatever that is. They feel there is a special mystery that only comes at this time of the year. Many of us have happy and warm memories of Christmas when we were children. We may still put up a Christmas tree in our homes, and post or email Christmas cards to friends, work colleagues, and family. There’s familiar music, decorations, and other entertainment.   Everyone remembers Christmas—even if it’s only a date on the December calendar.  But does it have a deeper meaning ?  Many shops and businesses make 70% of their profit due to Christmas sales …people go on a shopping frenzy.

“What do you want for Christmas?” As parents I’m sure many of us have asked that questions of our children or grandchildren. In 1944, a New York public school music teacher, Donald Yetter Gardner, asked that simple question of a class of second graders. He noticed that every child had at least one tooth missing. Inspired by their dental deficits, he sat down and composed the classic ditty, “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth!” As improbable as it seems, that song rose to number one on Billboard’s Top Forty in November of 1948 and remained there for nine weeks!  It’s one of those Christmas classics which is a bit dated now.

I wonder what you’re been waiting for this Christmas? Anything special ? A group of travellers were forced to wait on their plane, which was late due to another flight being cancelled. The crowd grew more impatient as the time went on and on. Finally, one angry passenger pushed to the front of the line, slammed his ticket down and said, “I must be on this flight now and I must be in first class.” The flight attendant, trying to be nice said, “Sir, we will get to you as soon as possible, but you must wait in line like everyone else.” He quickly said, “Ma’am, do you have any idea who I am?” Without blinking an eye, she smiled, picked up her mike and said, “We have a passenger here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to gate 17.”

When was the last time that you were forced to sit and wait on something?  I’m one of those people who hate waiting – I want to get up and get on with it.”

But sometimes God makes us wait. Christmas is often associated with waiting. Were you waiting for something this Christmas? Are you longing for anything? What were you expecting to receive? Were you looking forward to anything special this Christmas?

One of the tougher truths of the Christian life is that God doesn’t work according to our schedule, but according to His. Sometimes He doesn’t appear to be working at all, but He is. Waiting for something good to come is hard and not just for children. Adults can have a hard time waiting for good things to come as well. Maybe this week you’ve been waiting for God to speak to you, or show you what happiness is all about. Maybe this Christmas Day will bring an answer as you gather with the family.

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So, what is Christmas all about? It’s  not essentially about doing nice things and saying nice things per se. Christmas is about Jesus Christ. Without the incarnation of Christ, Him coming in the flesh of a human being, Christmas would be meaningless.

Christmas has been, throughout history, at risk of losing its true meaning. And that meaning is the true story of Christmas. For hundreds and hundreds of years it is has been told – the story of a man named Joseph and a woman named Mary and a baby named Jesus. The shepherds came to see him. Wise men brought him presents. And hark the herald angels sang glory to the newborn King. Christ is born in Bethlehem.