Many years ago, a group of scientists thought about all the advancements in technology, medicine and science man has made, and concluded that they do not need God, so God challenged them to a man-making contest. As one of the scientists bent down to pick a handful of dirt to mold, God said, “Oh, no. You’ve got to make your own sand!”
This paraphrase from an Our Daily Bread Devotional titled, “We don’t need you” was my earliest exposure to man’s efforts to get God out of the reality of human life.
From then on, I have seen the secular society, which the Bible called “world system” gradually push God out of the Public scene. Age-old monuments are taken down, the Bible, Christian Moral instruction and Prayer is outlawed in public schools, and in extreme cases, the practice of Christianity is a criminal offence in some countries.
Well, I didn’t know what it meant to take God out of schools until yesterday.
After family prayer time, meals and pictures, my younger cousin, who plays the Baritone for His Middle school band decided to treat us to a game. He would play melodies from popular songs and eachperson that got it would get a price – a candy.
We all braced up for the occasion and he started with “Mary had a little lamb.” Someone got it. After two rounds, he got to play a melody that sounded like the popular school song.
It was actually the song:
I love Jesus, I love Jesus,
He’s my friend, He’s my friend.
He will never leave me, He will never leave me,
He’s my friend.
My aunt and I sang the lyrics out and thought we would get a candy.
“NO!” He said.
Then, He told us what song it was. And I couldn’t believe my ears. I later learnt that the public system somehow adjusts songs or take out ones that had something to do with religion.
WOW! On Christmas, I learnt a tragic truth – there’s still no room for Jesus! And I remembered the statement, “There was no room in the inn.”
Jesus is no longer the cute little baby for whom there was no space in the inn. He is no longer the young man who had no place to lay his head. He is the God who is being pushed out of public places, and the savior who has no space in people’s heart.
Jesus is being replaced by Santa, Elves, Reindeers, Mistletoe – things that have little to do with the central message of Christ’s birth.
Yet, in this increasingly hostile world, I hear some people question whether it’s important to celebrate Christmas. They are beginning to dig up bony contentions about the date, the pagan tradition associated with it in times past.
Right now, I don’t care whether Jesus was born on December 25, January 7 or sometime in April. Fact is, Christmas is not about the date. It’s about Jesus. And Jesus was born, lived, died for my sins and rose up to give me new life.
In this present world, where we have fewer opportunities to discuss Christ with family and friends, and teach offspring the way of God, we must not let Christmas, as well as other Christian traditions slip by.
I remember God telling the Israelites: tell your children about this Passover.
I know that it’s not that they should keep meaningless traditions and go empty headed, but that they may remember God who always saved their fathers from enemies and continue to serve Him.
We celebrate Christ daily, but I don’t think it’s bad to specially celebrate His birthday. Just like we celebrate life everyday, but we carve out special preparation for our birthdays, weddings, convocation, anniversaries…
So, I encourage you, Celebrate Christmas BIG! And use the opportunity to tell your friends, family, especially the digital natives – the KIDS, teenagers and youth- about the values of Christmas. We can use Christmas, Easter as well as other seasons of the Christian calendar as faith building points and milestones in their lives. Give then meaningful presents and start healthy conversations.
Let them know about the greatest gift – Jesus – who perfectly expresses the loving personality of God and who meets the specific need of every man.
Certainly, Jesus, like everyone else, doesn’t want to be left out of his birthday.
If we don’t guard our Christmas, they will take it away from us, and the younger generation will suffer for it. It’s not too late to do Christmas again. Give. Share the love of Jesus, and let them know what this means to their lives.
Christmas is not a mere Christian tradition. It is the birthday of Christ, the savior of the whole wide world.
Share my burden with friends and celebrate!