EASTON – As we stumble our way toward Dec. 25th, the Christmas season doesn’t resemble anything we’ve experienced during our lifetimes.
Common family traditions have been changed, consolidated, or outright canceled. Symphony Hall in Boston is silent as the Pops have gone dark. Parties have been reduced in size and scope if people are even having them at all. Even here in Easton, many of our favorite local Christmas traditions have been converted to “virtual” events, which pale in comparison to the real thing.
Of course, some of these decisions are understandable in this COVID world we’re currently living in. Yet, if you’re like me, it’s easy to get a bit down in the mouth about these alterations to our typical family Christmas. After all, Christmas traditions are some of the more cherished elements of the season. Spending time with family, which is the hallmark of Christmas time, has been put on the “naughty” list by government officials. If you’re not careful, you can get to the point where you begin to feel that Christmas has been spoiled by all of these “grinchy” restrictions. Bah humbug.
Despite all this, I must remind you today that, although our Christmas traditions may have been altered, the focus of the season remains unchanged. Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
The holiday we celebrate on Dec. 25th is not meant to be about sugar cookies, light displays, or long-held family traditions. Rather, it’s about that “babe lying in a manger.” No virus, no restrictions and no physical ailments can cause us to stop praising God in the same manner as the angels did on the night of Jesus’ birth: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). Nothing about this truth has changed.
Jesus Christ left the glories of heaven and came to this earth to save sinners. His birth, life, death and resurrection are all part of the Gospel. It is this good news that gives us hope, joy and peace in the midst of a COVID Christmas. In fact, I’d submit to you that the celebration of Christ’s birth should take on an even greater significance in a year such as this one.
If you’re disappointed that this Christmas season doesn’t look like others in years past, I understand how you feel. But the reality that Jesus’ birth made provision for the greatest gift of all time — salvation — should cause us to greatly rejoice.
Dear friend, if you’ve never repented of your sin and called upon Christ to save you, there’s no better time than today. Only Jesus Christ has the power to save from the power of sin and the penalty of hell. I implore you to call upon him today.
If you have questions, I hope you’ll contact me personally through the contact information below so that I can share more of the Scriptures with you. You’ll never receive a greater gift than eternal life in heaven.