Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas has changed.

At least I have noticed a change from the Christmases of my memory.

Does that make me sound like an old timer?

All I know is that it seems to me every year the spiritual element of Christmas gets dimmer and quieter. The bright lights and noise of the more secular aspects of Christmas celebrations get more prominent and louder.

Is it because I am losing my own personal focus? Or is it true that there are no longer as many religious celebrations of the Feast of the Nativity in America?

The Christmas preparations and the Advent anticipation are whatever we make of it. I enjoy the traditions of gift giving and baking and decorating, the extra contact with friends and neighbors when we deliver the box of cookies, read the Christmas mail or attend a holiday party. It is also wonderful that people give mind to those less fortunate in the world, giving of their time and gifts to make the world, if only temporarily, a better place.

But I have noticed that less and less of it is actually rooted in the foundational reason for celebrating the arrival of December 25.

I believe the blame for that squarely rests on the shoulders of the Christians who should be the ones shoring up the foundations of Christmas celebrations. Christians should be doing more than fighting town hall for the public nativity displays or wearing buttons on their coats that say "It's okay to say Merry Christmas" while they are out loading their carts with hams and wrapping paper and icicle lights.

Christians should make sure that the doors of the churches are all open every December 25 for people to come into God's house to worship the Christchild, the real reason to observe and celebrate Christmas. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Messiah. Every Christian church should be declaring this message on December 25. Christmas Day should be filled with songs of praise, prayers and meditation on the arrival of the Savior of the fallen world.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have children running down the stairs on a sparkly Christmas morning in joyful anticipation of worshipping the Baby Jesus?

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