Biblical Eyesight Emerging Forefront
Christmas is always a fun time of the year. It is always a pleasure to give and receive gifts (I do like getting things). One thing that seems to come up every year at Christmas is the old adage, “Christmas is too commercialized.” Every year during the Christmas season it seems like pastors have to reminds their people to focus on the meaning of Christmas, so that they remember the season is more than just gifts, hot chocolate, and duck. It is about remembering how God gave us the ultimate gift: His Son Jesus Christ. Still, we need the reminders every year because we easily lose focus on what the most important aspect of the season, which inside the name of the day. Christ is why we celebrate. So what do the distractions look like, and how do set ourselves on the correct path for next Christmas?
In order to know what our focus is to be next Christmas; we need to know what distracts us at Christmas time. What I tried to do is find pictures that I had taken over the holidays to try and show things that distract us during the Christmas season. One thing that distracts us is all the preparation for the Christmas season. There are some houses that are bright enough to guide an airplane in for a landing even if there is a thick fog in the area. It takes a long time to put all those lights, and I wonder if there was a better use of time. We allow the distractions of Christmas to consume all of our time, while forgetting
Jesus is the reason we celebrate. Another distraction that comes our way every year is the make believe characters of Christmas. A good example of this is Santa Clause. When most kids wake up in the morning whose name do they call out for? I think a safe bet would Santa. We have made a imaginary character the focus of Christmas, while taking our attention away from the true figure of Christmas.1 There is nothing wrong with the idea of Santa, but anything that replaces Christ as the center is not good. We also get distracted by things that make us nervous about the holidays. Christmas time remind us about our loneliness, conflicts with friends and family, broken relationships, financial problems, and
several other issues. We get distracted by these things, and in our minds they replace the true meaning of Christmas. As Christians we have to remember that God will take care of us.
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:28-34 2
In terms of our hurt relationships, we need to take the time through out the year to focus on healing them. 3 This will help us be ready for the next Christmas season. Finally, what good would a Christmas distraction diatribe be if it did not mention the all Christmas stuff? Christmas is the biggest time of the year for retailers all over the country. In fact, the reason why Black Friday earned its name is because it was the
day most retailers begin to make a profit for the year. Retailers know what we focus on Christmas day. Now there is nothing wrong with giving gifts, and taking a little Christmas shopping madness, but like anything else that replaces Jesus at the center of our lives it can be a problem. As believers we are still tempted.
Even though we have been saved and regenerated by the Holy Spirit, we hold on to our sin, for something in us is still drawn to it.4
This is a good area to focus on with children. They get excited about all the stuff they get on Christmas, and they should. I loved watching mine open up and play with their gifts on Christmas day. We need to make sure we remind our kids why we celebrate Christmas and help them keep the right focus on Christmas.
Now we have looked at four distractions that tend to take our attention away from the true focus of Christmas; we can focus on how we can truly put Christ back in Christmas. I think we can easily take a few steps to make sure next Christmas is a Christmas that keeps the focus on Christ. Step on would be to mark your calender for November 25. On the date we should read the Christmas story in New Testament found in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2. It is four total chapters of Scripture. I know it sounds like a lot to read, but it is only a pages that takes only a few minutes to read. When we focus on Scripture God speaks to us. Paul wrote in II Timothy:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16-17 5 6
A proper focus on God’s Word will help us keep a proper focus on Christ during the Christmas season. That is why I think it is so important to take the time for yourself and read the real Christmas story.
Sola scriptura declares that the Bible is the one and only perfect measure God has given to us as our guide in matters of life and faith. 7
After you read the Christmas story take the time to pray that God will help you keep the account of Christ’s mind at the front of your mind during the Christmas season. So the two steps we have to help us keep Christ in Christmas are:
1 I think the reason for this is because we want God to be like Santa Clause. This is another blog for another day. Maybe next Christmas.
3This might be a good New Years resolution. This would be one that is different than most popular one: to lose weight.
4 Challies, Tim; John MacArthur (2008-03-31). The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment (p. 40). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.
6 I think I quote this passage more than any other. The reason is it reminds me of how important God’s Word is to me. Often people say they want to hear God speak directly to them, but the truth is God has already spoken directly to us through His Word.
7 Challies, Tim p. 46