• Angelene Woodard

A Radical Christmas


All the little offspring at our house are liars.

That's right. All three of them have experimented with a season (or two) of seeing just how far they can stretch the truth.

Until they get called out. Then they act all naive and innocent. (It would be irritating if they weren't so cute.)

Recently, our sweet, sinful, seven-year-old lied himself into a situation there was no getting out of. His reaction was unforgettable.

"Mom! I'm sorry. I just...I just misunderstood myself!"

Gimme a break. What an excuse!

My little man was justifying his bad behavior and there was no backing down. To maintain innocence, he declared confusion as his main defense.

It kinda makes me think about how we go about celebrating Christmas.

<< WARNING - WARNING - this post is about to get cray cray. >>

For just a minute, let's consider all we do to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Every year our entire lives focus on this holiday, for like a whole month. Maybe more.

Here we are, celebrating (some may call it stressing) like our lives depend on it.

Our days are busier than ever.

Our evenings are spent basking in the glow of carefully placed twinkle lights, artificial icicles, and candy cane clad elves.

Our weekends belong to decorating and shopping.

Our kitchens are devoted to preparing and enjoying ridiculously tasty foods.

Our conversations revolve around one particular jolly fella and all he can provide. (I'm guessing we talk more about him than the Birthday Baby.)

Our bank accounts are assaulted for the sake of giving gifts to those that don't really need anything.

Our children are focused on like never before as we strive to create memories full of Christmas magic. (whatever that means)

Now, let's consider what the bible says about the birth of Jesus.

Did you know the bible doesn't even suggest or hint at celebrating Christmas? That’s right. The bible does not command us to remember Jesus’ birth.

However, we are commanded to remember His death and resurrection. But, a month-long birthday party ain't in there.

Does that mean we’ve made up a fake holiday? Well, kinda.

(I told you it was gonna get crazy.)

Christmas, as we know it, is mostly hype.


Gasp! Whadidshejustsay?

May I offer a little proof?

In his book, Wake the Bride: Facing These Last Days with Your Eyes Wide Open, Jeff Kinley states some interesting facts. (Jeff just happens to be a friend of mine – not to mention, a fantastic author.)

"There's also plenty of legend and speculation surrounding Christ’s first arrival in our world, including some outright myths and fables. For example, those wise men (the Bible never says there were three of them), rather than presenting gifts to a baby in a manger, didn’t find Jesus until He was around two years old. Other common assumptions include: Mary riding on a donkey, Jesus being born on December 25, and angels singing. Actually, none of these are mentioned in Scripture; rather, they have become a part of happy tradition and folklore.

Today, we’ve effectively commercialized Messiah’s birth, marketing it as a religious, romanticized, sentimental tale of stars, shepherds, drummer boys, and a silent baby surrounded by spice kings and smiling animals. Hype."

Celebrating the birth of our holy Savior is all mixed in with a bunch of other stuff; now I'm confused and distracted and pulled in so many different directions.

Very little of modern day Christmas has anything at all to do with the birth of Jesus.

We say it does. We say it does.

Here are my thoughts on Christmas this year:

Are we telling ourselves sweet little lies?

Are we convincing ourselves that decorated trees, snowman shaped sugar cookies, and Black Friday shopping sprees are for the sake of remembering Jesus’ birth?

Or…are we justifying our behavior like a guilty seven-year-old who insists on maintaining innocence?

We are absolutely, positively, overwhelmingly confused.

We have misunderstood ourselves!

Be for real.

Christmas is not about Jesus’ birth. Well, okay, maybe a small portion of it is.

But, the majority of Christmas is about us.

Most of us spend an incredibly small portion of time considering Jesus’ birth.

And we are lying to ourselves if we think otherwise.

So, let’s do Christmas differently this year.

Calm down. I’m not recommending anything too radical.

In reality, we don’t have to do anything too different this year. Let’s just change our mindset a little bit.

For starters, let’s just admit that we like to worship ourselves during the month of December.

Go ahead, it’s fine.

We all do it.

My birthday is in December, too. So, I get to focus on me and what I want. It’s awesome.

The problem is that we make ourselves and our traditions little gods this time of year.

So…let’s just not do that.

1. Admit we are outta control with the whole celebrating Christmas thing – and for all the wrong reasons.

2. Ask God to forgive us.

3. Ask God to help us change our thinking. (and maybe our behavior?)

4. Make an effort to sincerely focus on our Savior’s birth.

Because – without His birth, there would be no death.

And without His death, there would be no resurrection.

And without His resurrection, there would be no salvation.

Jesus already considered us. Now, let’s consider all He is and all He has done for us.

Let’s use Christmas as an excuse to worship our risen Lord!

Now, that would be radical.

As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome here.

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