Written By Jeffrey Siauw, Indonesia, originally in Bahasa Indonesia
Whenever I see advertisements about clothing, cosmetics, or electronic items which use Christmas to promote sales, I feel disturbed. I feel the same whenever I hear “Christmas songs” being played in department stores, like White Christmas, Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. It makes me wonder: What has happened to Christmas? Why is it becoming so secular? Will we ever again celebrate the mighty and awesome love of God?
Modern culture has changed the true meaning of Christmas. It is now seen as a season of warm fuzzy times, happy family gatherings, fun parties, romantic songs—and big sales. Google “Christmas images”, and you’re likely to find pictures of beautiful Christmas trees, pretty snowclad houses, jolly Santa Claus, happy snowmen, and colorful decorations. Christmas has become cute and attractive, so much so that it can be celebrated by anyone, even in countries where Christianity is widely rejected. We’ve not only lost the true meaning of Christmas, but it’s also been tamed.
Some may argue that this benefits Christians. A tamed Christmas gives us more opportunities to share about Christ, because everybody celebrates Christmas in some way. That is true. But I also believe that we need not accept a tamed Christmas as something normal. It is only by God’s grace that people are still able to discover the true meaning of Christmas in the midst of all the distractions. Satan may have tried to mess up Christmas, but God is able to work through this mess for the good of His people.
Have you ever thought about what actually happened at the first Christmas? After thousands of years, generations of men had been sinning, earning the wrath of God. But God’s loving promise to save His people would be fulfilled by His Son, in a way that was beyond anyone’s imagination. All the host of heaven looked on wide-eyed, unable to comprehend what they saw. Even Satan trembled, unsure what God would do next. That day, the Son of God arrived on earth—as a human. He came as a tiny baby, a weak and vulnerable mortal born into a humble carpenter’s family. Yet this baby would be able to destroy the power of darkness.
That Christmas was hardly tame! In fact, it was utterly awesome and earthshaking. God’s magnificent plan to bring the nations back to Him was being revealed and would soon unfold. The Savior was born through a virgin’s womb, the shepherds saw the great heavenly host, and stars brought the news of the coming King of universe across the world.
Satan had no power to stop that Christmas from happening, so he tries to tame Christmas today and turn it into a season to eat, drink, and be merry. He tries to lead men away from the true meaning of Christmas. Sometimes, it seems that he has succeeded quite well—even Christians, who have been called to proclaim God’s power and love to the world, have joined the crowd to celebrate Christmas without Christ. How sad it would be, if we forget that we are part of His majestic plan at Christmas.
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas this year, let us remember how awesome God’s power is, and how great His love that has enabled us to become His children (John 1:12). Let us think about how we can share this earthshaking truth, and point people to the one and only Savior.