Photo Credit: Tania Miron.
On December 25th in many places on the planet people will be celebrating Christmas in one way or another. There are so many Christmas traditions, too many to name in this article. Most are based on religious and cultural traditions or family histories. In some places, such as the Russian Orthodox Church, Christmas is celebrated on a date other than December 25th. For as long as I can remember, well- meaning church folk have been debating about the actual date of Jesus’ birth. But nobody really knows. In my humble opinion it doesn’t really matter WHEN He was born but THAT He was born and WHY He was born.
In this country people speak about the so-called hustle and bustle and stress of the holiday. We run around spending money we can’t afford to buy gifts for people, many of whom we don’t like, culminating in a food orgy on Christmas day. In the midst of all this bedlam, the birthday celebrant is, for the most part, glaringly absent. Imagine if you will that on your birthday your friends and family get together, have a party and exchange gifts. And not only do they not give you a gift, they don’t even invite you to the party. I don’t think you would like that very much, I’m sure your feelings would be more than a little hurt and you would probably be disappointed in the party attendees.
I daresay this is how Jesus feels every year around this time. We have celebrations we say are in His honor but we don’t invite Him, sometimes we don’t even mention His name. But it doesn’t have to remain that way. We have the opportunity to start a new tradition, one in which we not only invite Jesus to his own birthday party but we make it all about Him, put Him front and center making Him the person of honor and He gets all the gifts. For those of us who call ourselves Christians, the best gift we can give Christ is a life surrendered to Him and dedicated to using His life as a model for our own. Happy Birthday Jesus!!!