Keeping Christ in CHRISTmas

We’ve all seen the memes. “I’m keeping Christ in CHRISTMAS. How about you?” Or the ones that say, “It’s Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays.” It’s a popular theme this time of year. And I do. I’m all for it. Obviously. I say Merry Christmas. I have a manger scene in my front yard. We read Luke 2 instead of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. But for me…

We’ve all seen the memes. “I’m keeping Christ in CHRISTMAS. How about you?” Or the ones that say, “It’s Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays.” It’s a popular theme this time of year.

And I do. I’m all for it. Obviously. I say Merry Christmas. I have a manger scene in my front yard. We read Luke 2 instead of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

But for me, Jesus isn’t just the reason for the season. Jesus is the reason for…well…life.

Let’s take a look at the Christmas story. We’ll start by reading it from the beginning…

I bet you thought I was going to say Luke 2 where it talks of angels singing and shepherds in the field and no room in the Inn. Or Luke 1 where the angel appears to Zachariah and then to Mary. “Be it unto me according to Thy Word.”

But no. That’s not where I want to start.

Let’s start in Genesis 3:14-15. Not the normal place to start, but hey. Let’s be unconventional today.

Then the Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this, you are cursed
    more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
    groveling in the dust as long as you live.
15 And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
    and you will strike his heel.” 

The first inkling of Jesus was not the baby in the manger. It actually even started before Genesis 3. Jesus was the lamb slain before the foundation of the earth. He was the answer before we even had a problem. “He will strike your head and you will strike his heel.”

And He was there in Genesis 12 where God told Abraham, “All the families of the earth will be blessed in you.”

He was the reason Joseph suffered the pit and slavery and prison so he could be promoted to 2nd in command of Egypt to save God’s covenant people from famine…the ones through whom the Savior would come.

He was the promise to King David that his family would reign forever.

He was there in the hundreds of prophecies of Messiah. Savior. Jesus.

For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace
    will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
    for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    will make this happen! (Isaiah 9:6-7)

And the manger isn’t the end of the Christmas story. The Christmas story is much more than that.

It’s Jesus, born in a manger, crucified on the cross, and raised to life so we can live. Glad tidings. Good news of great joy. Reconciled to God. Healer. Deliverer. Savior. Friend. The presence of God with us. Always. It’s you and me being Jesus’ hands and feet on this earth. Now. Today.

The best way to keep Christ in Christmas is not just by saying Merry Christmas in December. Although that’s a good thing. But it’s not just saying. It’s doing.

The best way to keep Christ in Christmas is to keep Christ the center of our lives. To live Christmas 365 days a year. To let His river of love and life flow from our hearts and words and actions to a lost and hurting world.

Let’s look around us today and see who needs Merry Christmas. And let’s not just say it. Let’s do it. Let’s live it.

Let’s keep Christ in Christmas all year long.

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