Radio stations play non-stop carols, people put blow up snowmen in their yard, your weekly newspaper triples in size with all the Christmas sales going on and yes, people seem just a little bit happier.
But way, way back there was a time where most people around the world missed Christmas. They flat out missed Christmas. They didn't celebrate anything. And yes, I'm talking about the first Christmas. The Christmas Day where God came to be one of us. That starry night as shepherds and wisemen huddled most likely in the back of some cave to marvel at the sight of God in the form of a baby. But even with the utmost importance of Christ's birth-people missed it.
Even with the prophecies surrounding the Messiah explaining a virgin's birth and even the destination, people seemed distracted-even the highly religious. It was a spiritually dark time in Israel. People were more worried about pleasing an oppressive Roman government than pleasing God in waiting for the Messiah. I can't help but compare that time in history to our culture today.
We've obsessed ourselves so much with pleasing a government and pleasing others (hoping to be pleased by others) that God has been shoved to the backseat.
I think this is where things need to change. This dilemma that we face brought about a thought in my mind and I've given it the title-The Future of Christmas.
No, it's not in danger of simply going away or moving to December 26th. It made me think about why we celebrate Christmas and what we need to start emphasizing. I believe the Future of Christmas is that we need to complete the Message of Christmas. Jesus was not just born, He lived, He died, He rose, and He is coming again. Yes celebrate Christ's birth, yes-read the birth story to your kids, yes-spend time with friends and family, yes-go ahead and buy each other weird gifts. All well and good, but let's start to realize that Jesus didn't stay a baby, He didn't stay in the manger. He had work to do.
We need to be watching and working until our Lord comes again. We should be using the days and years of our lives to serve the Lord-and to look for every opportunity to tell people about Jesus. The Future of Christmas for the church must mean we start taking advantage of opportunities.
So yes, Christmas has come and gone for this year, but the coming of Christ is happening again. We won’t remember the gifts we received on Thursday.
People may have missed the first Christmas, but we don’t want to miss His return.
The Future of Christmas? It’s simple. Don’t just be ready for December 25, be ready for Christ himself.