Ever since A Christmas Carol, there has only been one story, rewritten with new characters with slightly different but equally tragic back stories.
That story is:
Man who hates Christmas is forced into some Christmas-themed scenario. He’s had a tragic past and uses that as an excuse to be cynical. On the way to the dreaded Christmas-related thing, he takes a few wrong turns along the way and runs into some people randomly who each teach him something about his own journey through incredibly corny dialogue. In the end he finds the true meaning of Christmas, all accompanied by a goofy self-important script and self-important soundtrack.
That’s what happens when you commercialize Christmas I suppose. In a world where Justin Bieber can ruin “Little Drummer Boy” for people who actually connect with the meaning of that song like myself, it’s no wonder every Christmas story is the same. Every Christmas story tries to illicit some kind of emotional response that the creators aren’t even feeling themselves in an attempt to make a few bucks.
Harsh, I know. Probably not a good idea, since people don’t listen to harsh language anymore because everyone likes to believe they’re perfect and nothing needs to change. Well something needs to change.
While everyone was getting mad at Starbucks for all the Christmas imagery coming off their cups, I was glad. Other places can learn from their example. After all, trees and snowmen and penguins aren’t why we have Christmas in the first place.
What I often hear by the second week of December is that people are “already tired of Christmas.” Of course, they don’t mean they’re tired of the living God coming down from Heaven to commune with us and give His life for us. No, they’re tired of the Santa Claus, snowmen, Peppermint (the pumpkin spice of the holiday season) and jingle bells.
TV stations constantly play Christmas movies and everything you see becomes Christmas themed. You see the same stories about Christmas miracles over and over again and they always seemed overdone or clichéd.
Why? Because no “Christmas miracle” story can ever compare to the true miracle of Christmas. The miracle that a people so determined to turn away from the God who created them could be given a means to salvation in the form of Jesus Christ.
We’ve made the words we hear every Christmas meaningless simply by virtue of us having heard them every year. When’s the last time you listened to O Holy Night and really thought about the words?
A thrill of hope
The weary world rejoices
And yonder breaks
A new and glorious morn
Fall on Your knees
O hear the angel voices
When that song talks about a “thrill of hope,” it’s not the same thrill that comes from opening presents Christmas morning or the first snowfall of the year (a rare thing in Georgia), but the kind of thrill that comes when after hundreds of years God is answering the prayer of His people for salvation.
From the original sin of Adam and Eve, humans had no direct communion with God, which if we love Him is something we should long for more than anything else. And suddenly God answered and gave mankind a means of doing so. He came to give up Himself so that we could be with Him forever!
That’s the kind of joy that should fill us up this Christmas! We should be ecstatic over the fact that God Himself sent His son for our salvation. That is the thrill of hope, so we should rejoice!
Every nativity and cantata we see desensitizes us to the sacrifice Jesus made just by coming to Earth. “We know, we know,” we say, but do we really?
Let’s really think of the magnitude of Jesus’ birth. It’s not just another Christmas story. It’s our salvation, and it’s proof of a loving and selfless God.
I hope you have a merry Christmas, and I hope remember the message of the salvation of Jesus Christ.