The Elusive Search for a Christ-Filled Christmas

We're now well into the relentless run-up to Christmas, which seems to creep back a bit more every year. The impenetrable wall of Thanksgiving used to shield the months of October and November from overt Christmas season displays. But now even Turkey Day seems to be getting overwhelmed by the the steady onslaught of wreaths, bells, and little incandescent lights, which are now appearing earlier and earlier.

It's probably not news to anyone that this relentless holiday advance is driven largely by retailers. And it's usually at this point that Christians - especially pastors like me - begin to decry the consumerism of Christmas, lambasting a materialistic culture for defacing so holy a day with commercialized vandalism.

But I'm not going to.

Not that materialism isn't a problem at Christmas - it certainly is. But there are at least 2 reasons why I'm not going to pounce on commercialism as the source of what's wrong with our celebration of Christmas. First, it's obvious. And it's been talked about endlessly. There are already plenty of voices weighing in on how to de-commercialize Christmas, and many of these voices much more articulate than mine (like this one for example).

But the second reason is that I think the Kingdom of God is better served when Christians look in the mirror and do business with their beloved God, rather than looking out the window and wagging our collective fingers at those who don't know any better. If we're interested in putting Christ in the center of Christmas, I think one of the best ways is to look anew at Scripture and enter more fully into the implications of the Christmas story. You can read what I mean in an article that just published at the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

The answer may be different than you think.

Simeon, who longed for the coming of the Messiah, holds Jesus while Mary & Joseph look on (Luke 2)


Crown of Beauty said...

I have just finished reading the article you wrote on the Colson website.

It brought tears to my eyes. For several reasons.

I love that hymn, too. The minor chords, the soulful melody. I love it best when sung by an all male choir, there is a certain quality to the hymn when sung that way. So full of hope.

Rejoice, rejoice... and yes you are right. The first Christmas was so meaningful because of the backdrop behind the story. In the desperate, hopeless, dry condition of the times, the birth of Jesus, the Messiah, is a bright ray of light!

I love the story of Simeon, too.

I love that Ezekiel passage...

How skillfully you have woven the strands together.

You are so right when you say that it is about time we stopped talking about how commercialized Christmas has become. The choice is actually ours, to make the difference. Light that one tiny candle, be that lone voice in the wilderness...

Thank God for your heart, and your sensitivity at seeing Christmas from this perspective.


Matt Guerino said...

I told Amy "I got a comment from Lidj." She asked "what'd she say about your post?" I replied, "kinder things than it deserved, as usual!"

I appreciate your heartfelt and reflective writing Lidj, both here and on your own blog. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
anyhow thanks for the good read!

Crown of Beauty said...

Hi Matt,

Visit my Dec 14 post when you have a bit of time. As I re-read it this morning,God moved my heart to dedicate it to you and Amy. Have a blessed CHristmas.


Jeff said...


"Therefore the LORD himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." (Micah 5:2)

"She shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins."(Matthew 1:21)

"Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name." (Philippians 2:9)

"All kings shall pay Him homage, all nations shall serve Him." (Psalm 72:11)

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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