One of the mistakes many leaders (kids pastors, youth pastors, small group leaders and senior pastors alike) make is during Christmas we demonize culture rather than show people how to redeem it. If you attend church during Christmas in most churches you will hear some form of this rant: “Christmas is not about stuff or buying things; we need to put Christ back in Christmas.” While this is true, it falls short. The church for the past few years has done a good job of talking about what Christmas isn’t and haven’t done a good enough job describing the beauty of Christ.
1. “Invest in relationships more than in gift giving.” – A Yankee Candle is nice, but what people really want and need is other people. I have attended and officiated more funerals in the past year than I have in my whole life. One thing that often saddens me is people wait until someone is dead to tell them how they feel. This Christmas, use the time to invest in your existing relationships
2. “God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him.” – This is one of my favorite quotes—it’s from John Piper and it addresses this issue of finding our contentment in Christ. So before you put a bumper sticker on your car saying put Christ back in Christmas, ask yourself where you gain significance in life.
3. “Christmas is about redemption.” – One of the most moving things about scripture is to realize that the Bible isn’t primarily about us. It is primarily about God, who created a perfect world that we corrupted. It’s about a God who chose to send his only Son into that world to rescue us, to redeem the world he created. The holidays have a way of drawing attention to the things we don’t have. It is the time of year we reflect on our lives and think of those we have lost or those who have left. It is actually in the midst of that darkness and overwhelming sadness that our redeemer came in the form of a child to save you and me.
As silent as snow falling, he came in. And when no one was looking, in the darkness he came. – Sally Lloyd-Jones
People don’t leave something until they find something else that is far more beautiful and more valuable. Let’s do a better job this Christmas season magnifying the beauty of Christ in every lesson, every craft, every sermon and every song.