The Neglected Gift of Christmas

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Luke 2:10-14 ESV

“When they [Mary and Joseph] arrived at Bethlehem, they were the most insignificant and despised…. No one noticed or was conscious of what God was doing in that stable. He lets the large houses and costly apartments remain empty, lets their inhabitants eat, drink, and be merry; but this comfort and treasure are hidden from them. O what a dark night this was for Bethlehem, that was not conscious of that glorious light! See how God shows that he utterly disregards what the world is, has, or desires; and furthermore, that the world shows how little it knows or notices what God is, has, and does.”

Luther, Martin. Sermons for Advent and Christmas Day. Peabody, Ma, Hendrickson Publishers, 2017. p. 94

Two big and significant holidays this season are rivaled against the mandated day of worship, the LORD’s Day. Sadly, many churches have canceled the LORD’s Day to give way, especially, for Christmas day.

Aside from this lamentable reality where the church is bombarded left and right to cancel Christmas in the guise of reaching out to their relatives on Christmas day (as if, there is no other day to reach them out or they cannot be invited in the church on Christmas day), those who celebrate neglects the Eternal Gift of Christmas, the Incarnate Son of God, the LORD Jesus Christ Himself.

As Luther cried that it was a dark night for Bethlehem, since they were not conscious of that glorious light, the world today is overwhelmed and darkened by the commercialized and materialized celebration of Christmas. They have forgotten and neglected the Gift of Christmas.

Even the famous Christmas song misses this message with these words, “This season may we never forget, The love we have for Jesus.” But this season is not about our love for Him, but His love for sinners like you and me, who manifested His love by dying that we might have life.

But the light of Christ’s good news cannot be extinguished among those whose hearts have been captivated by His glorious light. There are people of God who, by His grace, chose not to be swallowed by this wicked generation. The question is, do we belong to the world that shows how little it knows or notices what God is, has, and does in the glorious coming of the magnificent Savior and LORD of all, Jesus Christ?

“When we look at this birth, and reflect upon how the sublime Majesty moves with great earnestness and inexpressible love and goodness upon the flesh and blood of this virgin, we see how here all evil lust and every evil thought is banished.” 

Luther, ibid. 96

We pray that the reason for the season may not be neglected in our gatherings. May we not forget the Eternal Gift for the material gifts that perish. May Christ be supreme, not only among our family gatherings but also in our hearts. Let us be jealous for His Name. Magnify Him, proclaim Him and Him crucified. Indeed, without Christ, there wouldn’t be Christmas at all!

Have you received this justifying and sanctifying gift? This Christmas, why not seek to be right with God through His greatest Gift, than receive gifts that may eclipse your remembrance of the True One? Why not receive the unmerited gift of the righteousness of His Son by faith that we could never get even if we have the best earthly gifts? Why not be washed by the shed blood of the Eternal Redeemer than be washed away by the overwhelming business of this world? Why not soak yourself in the undiluted message of the King who came?

Remember, there is no mandate from the King to celebrate His birth, but there is one to observe His resurrection Day. When these two events collide in public observance, choose the one which the LORD commanded.

Brethren, and friends, meditate on the gospel, for “[t]hrough the Gospel this light is brought to us, not from a distance, nor do we need to go far to obtain it; it is very near us and shines in our hearts (Ibid. 135).”

To God be the glory!

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

3 thoughts on “The Neglected Gift of Christmas

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