There is an imposter out there posing itself as “Christmas.” I call it “X-mas.” X-mas has a lot of people believing that it is the genuine article. X-mas wants people to buy into (literally) the notion that Christmas is all about gift exchange, holiday songs, cards, parties, decorations, red and green M&M’s, programs and cramming in a year’s worth of activities in 24 days.
Funny, but I thought Christmas was about … well, Christ!
Most of the world believes that Xmas is Christmas. That should be expected. The world has an uncanny way to leave Jesus out of just about everything. But the tragedy is that many followers of Jesus miss out on the true meaning of Christmas like everyone else. You and I are just as absorbed by the trappings of Xmas, as the world is. Just observe how we quickly we lose our spirituality while trying to find a parking space at the mall on a weekend in December!
So how do we live out the true meaning of Christ-mas in an X-mas oriented world? Here are some ideas:
1. Make the next week a spiritual pilgrimage to the Lord. Devote yourself to Him during this time. Make it your goal to go “deeper” with the Lord. As you have allowed Jesus to be “born in you”, seek for Jesus to “grow in you.” Make time for prayer and Scripture reading each day.
2. Worship Jesus as much as possible. I’m not talking about going to “worship services”, but worshiping Jesus throughout your day. Learn and memorize the 2nd and 3rd verses to “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “Hark The Herald Angels”, “O Holy Night” and other Christmas hymns. Ponder on what they are trying to say and allow that to thrust you into “worship of the heart.” Thank and praise Jesus for all things that the Spirit brings to mind
3. Cut out one Xmas activity and substitute it with something Christ-focused and personal. To me that would be cutting out a party or an evening of shopping to spend a nice quiet evening at home, listening to Christmas worship music with my family. What would be your idea?
4. Give less to people who don’t need it; give more to people who do. Billions of dollars are spent on people who really don’t need (or necessarily want) what we give them. In the spirit of the true St. Nicholas, give generously to those in need.
It’s hard to stem the tide of cultural Xmas, but it is something that we must do … beginning with our own lives. “O come let us adore HIM” … truly, fully, passionately and totally.