Welcome to our special series, “Keeping Christ at the Center of Your Holidays.”
Over the next few weeks, you get to enjoy the wonderful words of my amazing friends as they share with you creative and practical ways you can keep Christ in the middle of all of your celebrations.
Our prayer is that you will come to know Him, worship Him, enjoy Him, celebrate Him, and share Him with family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. People all around us need to know the love of Jesus.
May we all be bright “lights” this year – sharing hope to those who need it most!
The Christmas Story in Luke tells us that Mary “brought forth her firstborn son and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2: 7 NKJV).
We live in a day when, like the innkeeper in Bethlehem, many people in our world do not make room for Jesus at Christmas.
I once read of a ROVING REPORTER WHO STOPPED PEOPLE ON THE STREET ONE DECEMBER TO ASK:
“What does Christmas mean to you?”
Here were the answers he received:
- Family time
- Time for children to get presents
- Time to celebrate one’s love for his fellow man and give gifts.
- Just another excuse to party
NOT ONE PERSON MENTIONED THAT IT WAS TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF JESUS.
I see FOUR GROUPS of people in our world today:
If you ever watch “Waters’ World” on the Bill OReilly show, you will know how clueless many are today about the reason we celebrate certain holidays. It is no wonder, however, that so many are clueless about Christmas. When I taught school in Memphis over 50 years ago, we had Christmas programs every year for the entire school. There was always a Christmas party in our homeroom, with Christmas carols playing loud and clear.
Today, Jesus and Christmas have been removed from our public school system. Not only is the name of Jesus not to be mentioned; now, Christmas Holidays are called “Winter Break.” What a sad commentary on our society.
Many today, although not clueless about the meaning of Christmas, are so consumed with shopping, cooking, and decorating, they don’t make room for Jesus in their celebrations—especially at home and at work. Oh yes, they may take their families to a Christmas Eve service or Christmas program at their church. But if you visit their homes, you will see very little, if any evidence that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.”
So many different messages are being sent to us today, that many children and teenagers are confused about the real meaning of Christmas. When you are not allowed to celebrate in the schools or in the public square, when there is so much propaganda out there to discourage you from honoring Jesus at Christmas, it is no wonder there is confusion among so many.
A little girl drew a Christmas picture at school and brought it home to show her mother. It was a picture of an airplane with some people sitting in it. Her mother tried to show excitement about it but was very curious as to what it was being depicted. She told her daughter that it was a very interesting picture, but she wanted her to explain what it meant.
The little girl was rather exasperated, but sighed and said, “Mother, that man in the front seat of the plane is Pontius the Pilot.”
Her mother smiled and then asked about the big man in the back of the plane seated by Mary and Joseph.
Her little girl answered excitedly, “That’s Round John Virgin.”
Yes, there is much confusion about Christmas among our children. It is up to us to clearly present to them the truth about Christmas.
Today, there is a “War on Christmas” being waged by atheists and others who do not want to celebrate Christ’s birthday. That is where we, as Christians, must take a stand. Without Christ, there would be no Christmas. It is the message that we must teach our children and show by example to the world around us.
WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY WE HAVE:
- WE CAN STILL USE OUR PRIVATE PROPERTY AND OUR HOMES TO HONOR JESUS.
- WE CAN DETERMINE TO MAKE JESUS THE FOCUS OF OUR CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS IN 2016.
“For unto us, a Child is born….And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NKJV).
I’ve asked myself two questions which I want to ask you today:
- WHAT CAN YOU AND I DO TO EXPRESS THAT IN OUR FAMILIES JESUS IS MORE THAN A BABY IN A MANGER—MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN SANTA CLAUS?
- HOW CAN WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS IN WAYS THAT REVEAL WE BELIEVE “JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON?”
Thank you, Mom, for such a great article about types of people at Christmas Time. We really appreciate your message today. I believe many readers will carefully consider what you have shared.
Sarah O. Maddox:
- Sarah O. Maddox is a Southern Belle, having lived in the South all her life.
- She was born in Kentucky, raised on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, and moved to Tennessee after college graduation. Tennessee became her permanent home.
- She and her husband of fifty-plus years have two adult children and five grandchildren. Her family loves the Smoky Mountains and the beaches of Florida.
- One of her favorite things has been the privilege of speaking at many Christian women’s events throughout the South.
- Her first two books, “A Mother’s Garden of Prayer” and “A Woman’s Garden of Prayer” (with accompanying Prayer Journals), were co-authored with Patti Webb of Nashville, Tennessee.
- She independently wrote her third book, “Five Things I Did Right and Five Things I Did Wrong in Raising our Children.” Her fourth book is a novel called, “A Beautiful Reflection.”
- This last year, Sarah published a new book, “You Can Learn to be Content.”
Were you encouraged today?
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Maybe you can send it to a friend or family member?
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