It was bound to happen. This year it hit me earlier than it usual does. Christmas songs, decorations, crazy shoppers, Santa Claus and people on Facebook saying how blessed they are. Shouldn’t these things make me happy? Being a Christian during the holidays I should have more love for my neighbor. My problem isn’t people enjoying the things our Father in heaven has given us in this life. My problem is this warped view of Christmas and Christianity that people have. Unfortunately for me, my sin gets in the way of me taking a simple season’s greetings the right way. When a person could be genuinely wishing me a Merry Christmas, I tend to take it the wrong way. In my head I’m thinking; “They’ll have fun not going to church or going this one time because everyone else in their family is going.” Instead they will be opening presents, eating too much and watching A Christmas Story five times. If one more person tells me Christmas is about being together with family or spending good, quality time with the people you love; I might just lose it. When I hear that I think “Actually you can do those things all year, you don’t need Christmas to spend time with your family.” The birth of our Savior takes a back seat to our worldly passions and selfish activities.
Now before you call me a Scrooge or even self-righteous jerk, I love Christmas traditions. I’m the guy watching A Christmas Story multiple times, eating too many of my mom’s cookies and buying my kids too many toys. I’m the guy who looks forward to Christmas dinner and eggnog more than attending the Christmas Eve divine service. I’m a sinner just like everyone else, enjoying Christmas traditions that have nothing to do with the real meaning of Christmas. I put my own desires at the center of Christmas instead keeping Christ at the center. This time of year the world and the devil are in full gear, corrupting true biblical Christianity with feel good, your life is blessed, “God loves everyone regardless of who they confess as God” garbage. Jesus Christ was not sent into the world so you could put lights on a pine tree or even spend time with your family. Jesus Christ was sent to be our Savior, to forgive our sins and give us eternal life.
Children always have a Christmas wish list. This year I have a Christmas wish for my family, friends and anyone who may read this. My wish is that Jesus Christ continues to come to you all year round. Jesus Christ didn’t just come into the world on Christmas do his thing and then ditch us. He continues to come to us in his Word and in his Sacraments. His Word, our baptism, and his true body and blood in Holy Communion strengthen us every day in our lives here. This Christmas we celebrate the birth of the lamb who would take away the sin of the world. We celebrate his coming and his staying with us. This celebration and our joy need not stop because the presents have been opened and the Christmas tree is taken down. We praise God all year because of his forgiveness and salvation that is ours in Christ. Merry Christmas my fellow sinners. In the name of Jesus, Merry Christmas my fellow saints.