If you have been in stores the past few weeks, you have undoubtedly been bombarded by the Christmas “spirit.” Maybe you happened to catch a remnant of the reason Christmas is truly celebrated, but invariably what you see is something of the commercialized variety. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Christmas and the time surrounding it. Actually, I’m one of those people that listen to Christmas music off and on throughout the entire year (gasp!). But Christmas time has now become so commercialized that it’s easy to miss the Prince of Peace in it.
I was recently reading something that Pastor Max Lucado wrote in his book called Christmas Stories. He was writing about how society has transformed the idea of Santa from the person of St. Nicholas. “Santa reflects the desires of people all over the world. With the centuries he has become the composite of what we want:
Does this sound about right? We want someone that comes and helps us out, who gives us the things we need and sometimes even want. We welcome the escape from thinking about the problems in the world. But the problem is that Santa doesn’t stick around. He comes just one day a year and then leaves. The rest of the time, we yearn for his return.
Yet, this form of Christmas can’t be further from God’s reality. On a special night, thousands of years ago, a Son was born, a Child was given. And He was called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Immanuel - God with us. I don’t mean God with us for just one day each year or God with us only when we are good. Jesus came to earth to be with us fully. He traveled from heaven and earth to be with the apple of His eye - us. And that shouldn’t be underestimated or even passed over because of commercialization.
In this time of giving, God’s greatest gift was His Presence!