Monday, December 14, 2009

Joy To The World!

I know we all look through the prism at a different angle. We all have a different perspective and opinion about most things common. I don't think we need to agree about peripheral issues, that do not threaten our salvation or relationship with God. If someone chooses not to celebrateChristmas, I certainly am not going to give them any grief over it.
But don't scorn everyone else who doesn't want to stand arm in arm with you, rallying against Old Saint Nick, Christmas Trees, and the fact that it isn't the REAL birthday of Jesus, not to mention the pagan origins of December 25th. Please avoid spending too much time defending your choice, because the rest of us Christians are having fun and we really don't want our Jesus-Parade rained on.
Just simply ignore the day if that is your choice, because none of this takes away from the fact that my family is taking a special time of the year to be more generous than usual, feed the hungry, help the poor, and celebrate family, food and tradition.
Be happy and content in your choice to ignore the season, knowing that I completely support your choice. See, we aren't supposed to be getting on to each other about what each other celebrates, or eats or drinks. The Bible says so. If you genuinely feel convicted not to celebrate Christmas, then simply don't. It's OK.... and I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise.
However, please reciprocate the same courtesy to me. Obviously, Christmas gets under some peoples skin for various reasons. But at our house, it's a very happy time.
I realize that Christmas has pagan origins, thousands of years ago... but it seems that a few hundred years ago, some thoughtful Christians got the bright idea to turn that pagan tradition into a Christian one, and I am very grateful. I certainly wouldn't be having all this fun if it was STILL a pagan holiday! It's not a sin to do so.. unless your convicted otherwise.
But here's the good news: At The Hunt household, we can all relax and sip our hot cocoa and sing Christmas Carols with no fear that one of our own will be lured into paganism as a result of singing Silent Night, Holy Night, and JOY TO THE WORLD- THE LORD HAS COME!!!
When my children were very young, we did play Santa. This is my only regret... I lied to my kids. But I was young and that was how I was raised. I didn't know any better at the time.
But we also baked a birthday cake for Jesus, and they were all taught the story of Saint Nicolas, who was a real person, and lived such a Godly life, that the *spirit* of Saint Nick lives on in us all when we display our love for one another, and our fellow man. Usually, during Christmas, my children and I found a way to help someone in need. But this act is repeated during the year because we should have a willing heart all year round.

But there is an area of commonality that I do agree with about: Over-indulgence and materialism. It's a crying shame the way people put their focus on spending rather than celebrating Christs birth. I'm not saying gifts to each other aren't appropriate, but the focus has become one of material gain. Can't we as Children Of The King take responsibility and change that?
Christmas hasn't lost it's meaning to Christians, but it is sometimes difficult to find for the non-believer.
If the focus isn't adjusted within the family HOME, the message can get lost in translation. For the lost, Christmas is a time to celebrate things other than Jesus, and Saint Nick becomes an idol, vrs. a witness, and good example. It can easily become a message of *ME ME ME*, and not of looking after our own brothers and sisters in Christ. Eventually, joy gets substituded with greed and stress.
It is up to us as parents and grandparents to teach our own families traditions that reflect selflessness, helping the poor, and demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ under our own roofs, within our own walls. The message of Christmas NOW, in the year 2009 should be: *And unto you this day is born, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ The Lord.*
Isn't that alone enough to make you celebrate? To take joy, to look around and count your blessings? To reflect on your own salvation? Can't we celebrate the story of Jesus birth?
We CAN be content with having enough and enough to give to others, and the message can be turned around to reflect the greatest gift, that of; eternal life through Jesus as our Savior.
Bless you regardless of what you celebrate. :-)
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