Christmas is here again. The shops are full of goodies; sales are going on everywhere; malls are teeming with buyers; gifts are being bought; cards are being exchanged; parties are being planned; carols are being sung; kids are excited; tourism is at its peak; lumberjacks are having a great time cutting down trees, and the first chapters of Matthew and Luke are being read extensively.
As is usual during this time of the year, people are in a jovial mood and merrymaking is at its best. Towns everywhere are painted red as revelers, both young and old, flock to their favorite joints to party, drink and dance the season away. Others use this opportunity to spend some quality time with their families and loved ones. Still, others simply make a lot of money out of it.
Nevertheless, in the midst of all this fanfare, it is good for us to ask ourselves an important question: ‘Why, and what for, am I celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ? Is it because I have received what He came to give me, or am I just celebrating for the fun of it? Has He found a home in my heart, or have other gods been lodging there? Do I walk with Him, or have I been determining my own path? Am I His true follower, or am I just His fan?’
Needless to say, Jesus Christ did not come so that we can have a ball and party till the break of dawn at every end of the year. He came to give us the gift of salvation. Those who have received this gift are the only ones who can truly celebrate His birth because they are the ones who have benefited from His coming. A person may eat, drink, make merry, sing Christmas carols at the top of their voice and receive and give 1001 Christmas wishes, but if they have not received the gift of salvation then in the end all that merrymaking counts for nothing. God will not welcome them into heaven just because they knew how to get their groove on and set the roof on fire with all their singing and dancing. He will welcome only those who got born again.
To understand the foolishness of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ while not saved and devoted to Him, let us take the example of a sick person who is suffering from a fatal but curable disease. A doctor brings him some medicine but instead of taking it, the sick person simply rejoices that the medicine is there and thanks the doctor for bringing it. As he continues to rejoice, the disease gets the better of him and he dies from it. If he had taken the medicine he would have lived, but since he rejected it, all his celebration is worthless. It cannot save him from his disease and it will not bring him back from the dead. The same is true about our Christmas celebrations. When the party is over and God calls each one of us to account for our time and actions on earth, it will be of no use for us to have celebrated with all our might yet end up being rejected by Him and told off as none of His (see Matthew 7:21-23), because we did not repent and become saved. The Bible says that Jesus Christ came to save us from sinfulness (see Luke 19:10, Luke 5:32 and Titus 2:11-14).
In Luke 13:26-27, Jesus talked about people who will tell Him of how they ate and drank with Him but it will be of no use. He will reject them even though they brushed shoulders with Him. How much less impressive will mere merrymaking in His name be? As the festive spirit fills the air, here are some verses to meditate on:
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 19:10
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 14:17
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” – John 3:3