Pastor's Perspective: Cancel Christ?

  • 12/23/2021, 07:20 AM (update 12/23/2021, 01:42 PM)
  • Pelahatchie News
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Guest Columnist John Vaughn, Pastor, Cross Roads Baptist ChurchThe headlines last year proclaimed, "COVID-19 Cancels Christmas." COVID-19 is still lingering around, but it’s not making the headlines this year. Now we read "Christmas is at Risk as Supply Chain Disaster Gets Worse."


    It seems that whoever wrote these headlines thinks that Christmas is only about presents, commercialization, and spending money; that Christmas is simply a time that people go to the stores (or websites) to buy things. Advertisers have actually been attempting to get that idea into the public consciousness for years, and it seems they’ve finally succeeded. Making this worse, children are learning from adults that Christmas is only about presents. Within a generation or two, the true meaning of Christmas could be lost to a family. 


    But Christmas can’t be canceled! Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ!


    Luke 2:8-12 in the New Living Translation tells the story this way, "That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them."         They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. "Don’t be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger."


    So, the fact is, you or I can’t cancel Christmas, and nobody else can.


    But on second thought, maybe we should cancel Christmas! I am not saying that we should cancel the celebration of the birth of Christ, of course. And I am not saying that we should unstring our lights and put away our presents. 


    But maybe we should cancel the version of Christmas that has no place for Christ. Let’s cancel the version of Christmas that says, "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Let’s cancel the version of Christmas that depends more on "receiving" than on "giving." Let’s cancel the version of Christmas that depends on the supply chain and leaves Christ out.


    Let’s get back to what Christmas truly is: a celebration of the birth of Jesus. I think that at its very best, Christmas is a promise. At its best, Christmas is spending time with family and friends, enjoying holiday meals, laughing together, exchanging gifts, and worshiping together. I think all of these are a glimpse of things to come—because Christmas is really a promise of Heaven, a promise of something better.


    When He was born, Jesus brought hope into the world. And with the challenges and uncertainties we face in our times, we all need more hope. We must remember that not only is God still in control, but that He has a wonderful plan for us and for the world.


    So, let’s celebrate Christmas for what it is. And it is important, not just on December 25, but every day of our lives, to celebrate Jesus. There may not be as many presents under the tree or even a ham on the table this year. But if we are focused on what Christmas really is, then those things won’t matter as much to us. If we ever need to refocus on Jesus, it is now! If we have ever needed Jesus, we need Him now.


    So, let’s cancel what Christmas has become, and return to what Christmas really is…. A celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!


    Merry Christmas! Be sure to take your family to church on Sunday!
 

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