In our culture today, Christmas has become synonymous with commercialism. Christmas in America begins not with Advent (waiting, anticipating the arrival), but with Black Friday (madness to buy more and more stuff). The season is permeated with hustle and bustle as we try to add gifts, cards, decorations, baking, parties and more to our already over-crowded, over-scheduled, over-stuffed lives. It is a battle, a struggle. Therefore, how do we as Christ-followers not get caught up in the commercialism so much that we miss what Christmas is really all about – Christ?
The only antidote to greed and commercialism is generosity. It is in giving and loving that we are most like God. “For God so loved the world that He gave…” This is what the most famous verse in the Bible tells us. “No greater love has anyone than this that he lay down his life for his friends,” Jesus says (and did!). Giving is what keeps us from quite literally buying into this commercialistic culture and keeps Christ at the forefront of Christmas.
And, this is the best time of year to give. Psychologists tell us that Christmas is the most stressful time of the year. Everyone we meet is fighting a battle. When we give, we share Christ with people who are in desperate need.
I love watching God’s people at Rolling Hills give. I am absolutely in awe at the generosity of these amazing people I love. I see Angel Tree cards disappear as quickly as we put them out. People serve those with less in our community through the Path Project and others travel on mission trips over the holidays to share with those in need. This is what Christmas is about – giving, sharing, loving. Our culture has made Christmas about us, but Christmas is really about Christ. It is His birthday we celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than being like Christ!
This Christmas, what will we do? Will we go along with our culture or will we follow Christ? No doubt it is a challenge; yet as God’s Word says, “It is better to give than to receive.” Let’s live like Jesus. You can’t outgive God. He will always bless you as you bless others.
Let’s put Christ back in Christmas.