It is post Thanksgiving; therefore we can, without guilt, listen to Christmas music and officially accept the Christmas season. We now embark on the arduous journey of what we call celebrating.
Christmas is an interesting time. We affectionately sing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” It is filled with cookies, lights, presents, and parties. One would think that these things would bring us satisfaction and joy, but oddly they do not. I do not think I would be standing alone if I said that the season is lacking real, authentic pleasure for some people, if not most.
In fact, for some, the Christmas season is a time of darkness and dread. It looms over them, haunting them, creating anxiety and stress. It almost acts like a work project, whereby an impending deadline is ever approaching and doubts of achieving the “perfect” Christmas turns celebrating into misery.
So what is the problem? The problem is we are drinking from a polluted well. We wrongly believe that joy comes from earthly things. We are under the delusion that the way to achieve Christmas bliss is jewelry that we buy at Jareds.
The truth is that real joy comes from things that are not of this world. It comes from something out of this world.
“More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” – Romans 5:11
Our joy is found in the reality of our reconciliation with God through Christ alone. The Gospel is our source of joy. By Jesus choosing to come into this broken world and die in our place we now have reconciliation with God, if we place our trust in Jesus alone for our salvation. The path of reconciliation with God leads through the death of Emmanuel.
So is Christmas a time of celebration? Yes. However the source of the joy cannot be found in cookies, lights, and the perfect Christmas ham. Joy is found in Jesus Christ.
And this gift of reconciliation with God is one that we receive the moment that we repent and believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and King. It is not something we may receive. God does not give us a gift that says, “We’ll see.” It is a gift that is ours “now” if we have accepted Christ by faith alone. In fact, the reality of receiving the gift of reconciliation in the present moment is what produces the joy in us. If the gift is delayed, then the joy is delayed. However, if we recognize what Christ has done for us, and receive it fully into our hearts through faith, we are in that moment reconciled to God and this causes joy to spring forth in our lives.
So this Christmas, spend more time dwelling upon the gift of reconciliation to God through Christ alone and less on the traditions of man.