The Nativity from Reflections of Christ by Mark Mabry
During my long post-Thanksgiving drive last weekend, I was listening to the radio and hearing a lot of Christmas music, which I love. But as I listened, I started to get really annoyed. I think the song was, "Joy to the World":
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let Earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room...
As I listened to these words, I was frustrated, because here was a radio station that usually played all sorts of rock songs and love songs, and every other kind of random song- why was it that radio stations can only play music about Jesus Christ at Christmastime? If we really want earth to receive her King, and for every heart to make room for Him, then why only think about Him once a year? Why does the world only celebrate the "reason for the season" during the season?
Our Savior has given us everything- He came to earth as a man and suffered all pains and afflictions so that all mankind could be saved, and mankind only seems to notice for one month out of the year, and unfortunately, even that one month has gotten so polluted with the bells and whistles of celebration that most people have forgotten what we're even celebrating. That's what bothers me.
If you think about it, it was really quite the clever plan that Satan devised. He took the celebration of the sacred birth of Jesus Christ and said, "Hmm...how can I turn this away from Christ and instead focus it on all my favorite things- selfishness, greed, stress, pride, and frivolity?" So then he took the part of Christmas that was supposed to celebrate our desire to become more Christlike- the giving of gifts- and made it all about the gifts rather than the giving. Christmas has become all about the gifts. It's about shopping, wrapping, baking, trees, and decorations. It's about making lists of things you want to get, and lists of things you have to buy. It's about giving a gift that's better than everyone else's, and most likely spending more money than you have to do so. Somewhere along the way, Christ got forgotten amid all the shopping and wrapping and partying.
So I would like to challenge you to put Christ back in your Christmas. And I will offer you two places to start. The first is a beautiful piece of prose entitled, "Mary's Dream." I loved this so much that I sent it out to our friends and family last year as our Christmas card.
The second is a bit of homework in preparation for next week's Spiritual Sunday post- I would like you to visit Reflections of Christ. I will warn you ahead of time- this will probably touch your heart and perhaps make you cry. It is a slideshow of some incredible art photography of the Savior's life set to music, and it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It touches me every single time. I think that watching this is a beautiful way to truly celebrate Christmas.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."- John 3:16