Summary: This text holds the answer of how to celebrate Christmas in a truly Christian way.
“Overcoming The Confusion of Christmas”
Luke 2:7-20 (key verses 17-20)
A Kindergarten teacher asked her class which Christmas Story they would like to hear her read. One little boy shouted out, “Tell the one about where the father saw Santa Claus and got sick.” Mystified, the teacher kept probing and finally determined that the little boy wanted to hear “Twas the Night before Christmas” and that what he was remembering was the part where the father flew to the window and “threw up the sash.”
Things sure can be confusing at Christ-mas time, in the hustle and bustle of this season we can become confused about what Christmas is all about.
In the popular Hi and Lois Cartoon Strip, the writer often puts into words what is in the mind of the little girl who is the pride of the family. During a comic strip which appeared during the Christmas season, the little girl is pictured as thinking, “I sure do love Christmas. I don’t know what it’s all about yet but, I sure do love it!” Many people in our world find themselves in the same situation. They love Christmas, they just don’t know what it is all about, just think how much more enjoyment they would receive if they understood the full signific-ance of Christmas.
“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (8) Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. (9) And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. (10) Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. (11) For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (12) And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” (13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: (14) “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (15)So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” (16) And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. (17)Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. (18) And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. (19) But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. (20) Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”
It is amazing if you stop to realize that in our day almost everyone in this nation with the exception of orthodox Jews, devout Muslims and adherents of Jehovah’s Witness celebrate Christmas. What is even more amazing is to realize that very few have any intention of honoring the person of Jesus Christ nor recognize any allegiance to His cause. Christmas has provided a holiday even for those who refuse to worship Him!
The response to Christmas in our day, even of church goers is nowhere near that of those who witnessed the first Christmas. As Christians our celebration of Christmas should be different from those who do not know Him, but how do we demonstrate this difference to an unbelieving world. I believe that Luke 2:17-20 holds the answer of how to celebrate Christmas in a truly Christian way.
First, We Can Truly Celebrate Christmas By Proclaiming The Good News Of It. (v. 17)
“Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.”
These first witnesses of the birth of Christ had good reasons to share what they had heard and seen.
• They needed to share the good news because they knew something worth telling.
Because the Shepherd were “greatly afraid” (v.9) the message that the angel brought from God first spoke to their most immediate need when the angel said, “fear not”(v. 10). When the angelic messenger suddenly appeared the shepherds reacted as any normal human would they were terribly afraid.
It is easy in this time of national and international uncertainty to allow your heart to be filled with fear this Christmas. Fear about; your health, your family, your job security, the economy, or the conditions in the world. But we need not fear, we have “good tiding of great joy” because the Savior was born, because scripture has been fulfilled, because Christ is LORD over all.