John 3:16 (NKJV)
For God so loved the world that He gave…
I know, that’s not the whole scripture, is it? Some people may even call me a heretic for leaving off the rest of that verse. Just like those people trying to take Christ out of Christmas by saying Xmas, right? Well, that’s not exactly true and this is the heart of this little Christmas message.
Now, before I go too far let me say that I fully believe that there are an awful lot of people who would love to end our faith. That being said, Christians do not help matters when they speak things that aren’t based in truth. After all, we are suppose to be purveyors of truth so if we speak from lies, even lies that benefit our cause or promote our ideals, and even if we didn’t realize they were such, we are wrong. I would guess that those misconceptions punch the biggest holes in our faith.
I want to touch on a few Christian stereotypes in order to help people embrace some Yuletide truth. For starters, the term Xmas goes back hundreds maybe even a few thousand years. A short understanding would be as follows: “In the Greek alphabet, X is the symbol for the letter ‘chi.’ Chi (or X) is the first letter in the Greek word for Christ. In the early days of the Christian church, Christians used the letter X as a secret symbol to indicate their membership in the church to others.” The usage of Xmas is not a new concept. I’m not saying that people never have nefarious reasons for using it. I’m saying that not all people who do use it do.
Another one I want to touch on is the “commercializing” of Christmas, that it has overtaken the holiday. I say good! Wait! What?!?! Yep, that’s right, I think it’s good and let me explain why. Motives for anything can be good and they can be bad. The idea that God is as stingy as most Christians is bad and is an idea that has driven people away from Him. Let me back up my first partial scripture with just a few others. After all, the mouth of two or three witnesses establishes a truth.
Romans 8:32 (NKJV)
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Matthew 7:11 (NKJV)
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
James 1:16-17 (NKJV)
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
I’ll grant you this, the context of all these scriptures is not to provide the believer with their every unbridled lust but they are but a few of many that establish that our God is an extreme giver! God is good and He so loves that in this goodness He gives to the good and to the bad. To those who deserve it and even to those who don’t, for this is His very nature… unbridled and unconditional love. After all, no one deserved the most precious gift of all, that of Jesus Christ.
The Christmas season being a season of giving is not because of retailers, but because the season that celebrates the greatest of Gifts is this in its nature! Love gives sacrificially and this is the very heart of who Christ, the Heavenly Father, and His Holy Spirit is! I am not moved that this is what the world is emulating, even if they don’t know it. In fact, I have noticed, in general, many people can be nicer, happier, and more easily moved in this season. This is yet more proof of the DNA we have received from our Creator. It’s in us, whether we like it or not!
Now, as for all those retailers making a profit off of this exploitation, I again say good. I am not advocating people hurt their families by overburdening them in debt, but a little bit extra is good for all. How many extra jobs or extra hours are created in this season? I have myself benefited in the past from this. Is it bad when corporations make big profits? Not if you want a healthy economy. People often rail against Wall St, but things like this are why the United States of America is not in third world poverty. Jobs, business, the ability for creativity to flourish, and opportunity regardless of who you are exist because of wealth. If we have a hard time thinking this way look in the Old Testament at how God blessed Israel. A land flowing with milk and honey and exceedingly able!
In closing I want to say, I am not advocating greed, not in the least. The heart of what I’m saying is there is always another side to everything and as God’s people,
it is our job to look for the best. In closing out a year like 2020, a little hope will go a long long way! God is still on His throne and as bleak as the world can sometimes look, let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water. God is a giving God, and as His children we should reflect our Father. We are not hopeless and should not live as such. Let’s show the world hope by showing them the true character of our God, who always gave way more than necessary to those who never came close to deserving it.