The gift of Jesus is at the heart of Christmas
What does Christmas mean to you?
Is it gathering with family to eat a big turkey dinner?
Is it opening presents Christmas morning in your Christmas jammies?
Is it hearing Christmas music and seeing Christmas lights everywhere you go?
For me, I’ve only done Christmas pajamas once, but it is most certainly a family time and I love the music and lights.
A friend of mine from another country told me how much she loves this time of year and wishes it was part of her culture. She also made a comment that got me thinking. She said she found it interesting that so many people celebrate Christmas without being religious.
I was impressed by her perceptiveness.
I’m guessing she recognized what is at the heart of Christmas — the birth of Jesus Christ — but she noticed that many who participate in the holiday don’t really believe in Jesus or put any emphasis on him.
I’m still pondering this a week later. How can it be?
To me, as a devoted follower of Jesus, I see Christmas as a celebration of the greatest gift of all — Jesus — who came to earth 2,000 years ago and through his perfect life, death and resurrection, made a way to deliver us all from the sin and death that came into the world through the rebellion of the first man and woman, and to bring us back into right relationship with our Creator and give us eternal life when we turn from our sins and put our hope and trust in him.
To me, then, celebrating Christmas without Jesus in the picture is like keeping the wrapping paper and discarding the gift. Yes, the wrapping can be the prettiest part of the whole gift. It is what we look at longingly as the present sits under the tree. But the wrapping paper is just the outer trappings. It has little value in and of itself. The gift is the important part.
Now, maybe you have experienced disappointment in the gift. (I am notorious, sadly, for not always being thankful for presents I receive – ask my mother) Maybe you don’t see the point of the gift or the preciousness of the gift. Or maybe it’s hard for you to find the gift. Just like when you have relatives like my brother-in-law who puts the smallest present in a much-too-big box or wraps it in so many layers you think you’ll never get to the gift, it can be hard to find the truth in all the myriad of beliefs out there.
This month, wherever you’re at, take a few moments and think about what Christmas means to you and why. It could be a good conversation at the dinner table.
Springfield North community correspondent
Sonya Braun is a community correspondent for Springfield North.