Christmas is an ironic mix. On one side is a meaningful season of celebration to remember and commemorate the birth of Christ and the gift of life. On the other side is a commercialised holiday where presents, gifts, sale, shopping sprees and travel discounts rule the decision-making process.
The deeper roots of Christmas have been clouded by theories and fake news.
But looking back, what was the essence of Christmas for you growing up? I thankfully grew up in a Christian home where Christmas was made to be a God-honouring time to worship and pray, give, enjoy family, and be with church community.
The essence of Christmas for us Christians has and should always be Christ, we all say that. But how do we know for sure that we still have Christ in the centre of the season or if He’s lost His place in our celebration?
Here are five signs that show that you might have lost the essence of the Christmas season.
1. You’re Extremely Busy This Month
I used to be guilty of this. To me, Christmas was just another excuse to work on the holidays. And while there’s nothing wrong with work, Christmas can be a great time to experience God’s rest, be still in His presence for longer periods of time and to enjoy relationships. Your work will always be there all year round, but you have this season to join others corporately and celebrate the life we have through Christ.
2. We Neglect Key Relationships on Christmas Day
It seems too embedded into our tradition for Christmas to be a family day and for a good reason: Because family matters to Jesus, and God wants us to celebrate Him in the company of people who matter most, whether that be our biological families or spiritual families.
3. We Let Circumstances Cloud Over Our Joy
Things may not go our way this Christmas. The past three Christmases, I have lost businesses, loved ones and opportunities. But even in the midst of trying seasons, there can be reason to rejoice because our hope is not in circumstances or things but in Christ.
4. You’re More Focused on Getting Than Giving
Christmas can be a great time to receive gifts and meals, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the season is also an opportune time—since we have received so much—to also give as we have been blessed.
5. You Rush Through The Spiritual Side of Christmas
Do you rush through prayer, sermons, sharing times, and devotionals during times of celebration because you can’t wait to get the party started? If you are, then there’s a chance that you’ve forgotten the true essence of Christmas, which is to worship and praise God for what He has done for and through us.