A month ago you may have heard someone saying, “O, how I love this season,” (You can be sure they didn’t work retail!) but what now, is it now back to the old work-a-day grind? When all the trappings of the “Christmas season” are packed away for another year, will that also include the “good cheer” that supposedly characterized the “season”?
For all the religious error and blatant commercialism, you’ve got to admit there is something special about the “season.” Families take time to be together; hard-earned money is spent to bring others pleasure; time is taken to write a greeting to those with whom we are no longer in daily contact; friendly “season’s greetings” are received from complete strangers. Seems to me, this whole “season” thing can be summed up by the fact that for about a month there is more thought given to others.
Now, why should that spirit end in January? Maybe as a society one month of “good cheer” is enough! “Couldn’t keep it up much longer; we’re exhausted being nice, thoughtful and hospitable. Thank goodness it’s January, we’ll get a breather and start paying for all that ‘good cheer.’ ”
Here’s where the uniqueness of New Testament Christianity shines clearly:
* We didn’t have a “Christmas pageant” or a special “Christmas service” because we, at His direction, remember His sacrifice on our behalf every first day of the week in the Lord’s Supper (I Cor.11:23-26).
* We do not commemorate His birth with an annual observation, not only because He gave no authorization to do so, but also because we, by His grace, live daily in His presence (Matt. 28:20; I Cor.1:9; I Jhn.1:3).
* Thoughtfulness towards others is not a special effort for a season, but is part and parcel of being disciples of the One who first loved us (I Jhn.4:10, 19; Heb.13:1).
* We rejoice in the announcement made by the angel of God (Lk.2:14), and do so free of any contrived sentimentality, realizing that the promised peace is found only in our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom.5:1). And not while He lay as a revered baby, but as a grown man He was willing to, “taste death for everyone,” and so doing, “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb.2:9; 9:26).
* Therefore, those “baptized into Christ Jesus” know a joy that is unseasonal and enduring (Rom.6:3; Phil.4:4-5).
– Ed McGeachy