Summary: To find the Child-that was the goal. Anything that takes us off the path that leads to Christ is not part of God's plan. The job of the angels and the star was finished when the shepherds and the wise men bowed before the Christ-child.
Lucy is expounding on the meaning of Christmas and she says, "this is the time of the
year that we show kindness and good will, when we accept others and welcome them into our
home." Charlie Brown says, "why can't we be kind and accepting all through the year and
not just at Christmas?" Lucy looks at him and says, " what are you, some kind of religious
fanatic?" That is the way many people feel about those who would want to be a Christian
even after Christmas.
There is something unreal about the Christmas spirit that only lasts till the lights and
tinsel are put back into the attic. A seasonal Christian who reveals some kind of religious
interest at Christmas only is not a real Christian.
It is not fanaticism but normal Christian living to have the Christmas spirit all year long.
One of the problems with the Christmas season is that people feel they have to try and cram
too much Christian living into too small a segment of time. David Grayson said, "I
sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas day. We try to crowd into it the long
arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas
a little at a time, all through the year." There is no magic in December 25 that cannot be
experienced any other day on which you decide to honor the gift of God, and praise Him for
the Lord Jesus.
The real fanatic is the one who thinks you can get your religious devotion done at
Christmas-who thinks thanking and praising God is a minor part-time commitment that can
be gotten out of the way through a special event or two. The gift of God is unreal to one with
such a mind. It is not just the tree, but the whole of Christmas is artificial to those who do
not treasure the gift of God everyday of the year.
In the comic strip "Tiger", two little boys are talking and the one says, "We got an
artificial tree this year." The other boy asked, "Doesn't it bother you?" He replied, "No, not
as long as the presents are real!" That is to be the Christians attitude. Everything can be
artificial and superficial, but he or she will still have the Christmas spirit because God's
Present is real. Ray Philllips said, "Christmas is real. It's the rest of the year that is a myth."
If the gift of God is real then all of life is made real by this ultimate reality in Christ. The
poet put it beautifully-
Yet more and more we know Thee real,
And marvel more and more to see
Thine infinite Reality.
Lord Jesus Christ Thou art to me!
My glorious king, my Lord, my God,
Life is too short for half the laud,
For half the debt of praise I owe,
For this blest knowledge that "I know
The reality of Jesus Christ,"-
Unmeasured blessing, gift unpriced!
Will I not praise Thee when I see
In the long noon of Eternity
Unveiled, Thy "Bright reality"?
In the popular children's story, The Valveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams, the rabbit
asks the toy horse that was so bald in patches because of hundreds of hours of being held and
rubbed, "what is real"? The horse replies-"Real isn't how you are made. It’s a thing that
happens to you. When a child loves you for a long time, not just to play with, but really loves
you, then you become real". For some, the baby Jesus is just another toy they play with. Its
fun, but they never really come to love the gift of God. But for those who do, Jesus is a gift
that is loved and treasured not just at Christmas, but every day. He is real and not just a
seasonal plaything. The poet says it so well-
Lets have Christmas every day
The gladness and the heartfelt mirth,
Good will towards men and peace on earth;
The simple joy of giving things
To gain the joy that giving brings.
The practicing of what we preach
In word and deed, in thought and speech.
Lets have Christmas every day-
Its wrong to wait the weary year
to bring some fellow creature cheer.
We should adopt the better plan
Of doing good whenever we can.
But do it now, next Christmas may
Not come at all-Let's live today!
If the Christmas gift if real to you, then the Christmas spirit will be real to you every day.
This was the spirit of the shepherds. As soon as the angels were gone they said lets go see this
thing that has happened. These men did not know it was Christmas for the holiday did not