The Heart of Christmas
Matthew 1:23 - “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name ‘Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’”
We live in a world today where many people do not know the truth or the heart of Christmas. Many people are wrapped up in the materialistic or the commercialism that takes place this time of year. Commercialism and being politically correct has even taken place in how people communicate. At this time of the year, we often hear people say “Merry Christmas”, but as the years have gone by, that phrase has changed to “Happy Holidays” so people aren’t offended. I was recently encouraged when my wife told me that she read that the retailers that are choosing to say “Happy Holidays” as opposed to “Merry Christmas” have seen a sales and profit decline while other retailers choosing to say “Merry Christmas” have seen a sales and profit increase this year. Needless to say, I was encouraged that “Christ” and “Merry Christmas” was being valued and communicated. What about you? How do you encourage others at Christmas?
After all, Christmas isn’t always a happy time for people. For somebody who has lost their job, this is not the most wonderful time of the year because so much emphasis is placed on Christmas being a materialistic one. There are also some people who are going through family turmoil and relationships are severed. There are people who are extremely ill and getting through each day is a challenge. There are also people who have lost a loved one. For these people at Christmas, it is difficult to say, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Some people are grieving and the things that once made them happy at this time of year now make them sad and tearful. Family gatherings and the things that once brought happiness are now things that bring heartache, because they evoke cherished memories of times they spent together. Therefore, Christmas becomes a hard time for many people.
All of us need encouragement at this time of year. We don’t need another Christmas present; we need God’s Christmas presence. We ALL need Jesus. We all need to be reminded of what this season is all about. It is not about things. It is not about presents. It is not about Santa. It is about Jesus. It is about ’Immanuel’, ‘God with us.’
For the person who is aching, for the person feeling wounded, for the person who is distressed, this is the time of year to bring the gift of encouragement. Tell them “The Heart of Christmas” is that God will be with you. God will never leave you or forsake you. God will assist and help you. God will build you up and strengthen you.
I encourage you to look for opportunities to share the love of God during this Christmas season. Right now is the perfect time for you to bring encouragement to someone who is hard pressed and struggling with life. Who needs your encouragement today?
Posted on Thu, December 22, 2011
by Keith Knight