Contrary to the phrase, Jesus is the reason for the season, in truth, He isn’t. The original reason for observing December 25th began in ancient Rome where they celebrated Dies Natali Invictus — the birthday of the unconquered—the day of the birth of the unconquered sun, set on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, and the sun supposedly made the days become longer again.
In A.D. 324 Constantine wanted to unify and stabilize his Empire, therefore he sought to reconcile by blending and meshing pagan practices with Christian beliefs, to merge paganism with the Roman church.
For this reason I do not worry about keeping Christ in Christmas, because at its inception He wasn’t in Christmas. If we want to get technical, His birth was more than likely in September. In truth, Jesus isn’t concerned with us celebrating His birth, He wants to be our every day celebration.
Even so, I do not reject celebrating Christmas. I love it! It is a time of centering. A time to refocus, renew, and remind myself of those things that are so important to Christ—not singing happy birthday to him, but to open my heart to others. This season serves as a springboard into the New Year to fulfill the law of love. That is what Jesus taught and desires.
For me, Christmas is family and friends. Love and laughter. Not so much as giving presents but being present. Therefore, I wish you a Merry Christmas and hope that all that is important to Christ—feeding the poor, clothing the naked, forgiving, loving your neighbor—will also be important to you!
Business? Mankind is my business! ~ A Christmas Carol
In my 56 Christmases I’ve seen society change from a hardworking mentality to an entitlement mentality, to greed, to not accepting personal responsibility, and now we face a bankrupt nation.
But all is not lost. As I watch our dollar grow more worthless each passing day, I am actually finding myself again. Instead of getting lost in the orgy of spending for the perfect Santa Claus morning, I’m spending time with those I love. Instead of debt bending my back with worry, I stand straight and look to the future debt free. And since my gaze is on the horizon I see others and recognize their need.
Am I describing you? Have you undergone this change of mind? If not, I encourage everyone to use this holiday season as a springboard into the future. Change your mindset. Don’t regret the past, think forward and ask yourself, “How can I make someone’s life better?” Helping others doesn’t always require money. Time invested in their lives is just as needed.
Lift up your eyes and be sensitive to those around you. Don’t grumble about the rich or the poor. Do something. Don’t feel that anyone owes you anything. Do something. Make the same choice as our forefathers. Have the attitude and the willingness to do what it takes.
If you have two cents to your name, give one to someone else. If your house is only 300 square feet, invite someone over for coffee and encourage him or her. Start giving to the poor and continue giving throughout the year. Help those who have dedicated their lives to the poor. Teach your children to give. Make that the most exciting part of Christmas for them.
Christmas is the anniversary to renew my resolve to celebrate Christ’s command in Matthew 22:36-40 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”