Two weeks ago, I got in my attic and started digging. At the back of our attic space is a collection of boxes which we pull out every Thanksgiving weekend and begin to unpack. These boxes contain a six foot fake tree, two overgrown socks, lots of things that need to be plugged in, and a partridge in a pear tree. That’s right, these boxes are full of Christmas cheer, and every year, we dust them off and unpack them to help us celebrate.
After unpacking these boxes, I next take all the stuff that “needs to be plugged in,” and plug it in to see if it still works. Inevitably time has taken its toll on my little lights, and at least part of them are broken. So, a trip to Wal Mart ensues in order to fix the problem with some new bulbs.
For our family, this is the case with our Christmas decorations, and we repeat this ritual every year. For many in our country, however, this proves to be a symbolic event for their spiritual life. Every Christmas season, many people get into their spiritual life and start digging. Buried beneath all the usual distractions is a dust covered box filled with cultural Christianity. As this box is unpacked, the first desire is to “plug it in” and see if it still works. This usually happens with attending church services or looking to see if the manger scene is still set up outside city hall. Inevitably, the progression of a secular society has taken its toll on our cultural Christianity, and at least some part appears broken. The local schools now call it “winter break.” Your kids “Holiday Program” now sings only of Frosty and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. At first glance, the “light” of Christ appears to be out, and there is a strong desire to write the paper or bring a lawsuit to fix the problem.
Now before I go any further, I want to make an admission. Like many in the world today, I am also greatly saddened by the de-Christification of Christmas (and our entire society) that is occurring today. We have a great God who is worthy to be honored by all people, and it saddens me when that does not take place. Many who are fighting this process in our schools and courtrooms are fighting from this perspective, and I appreciate their efforts. Their passion for Christ and His glory are evident in how they act. However, there are many others who join in this outcry each year, who are arguing for different reasons. They may not even think about the real Jesus Christ for 10 months of the year, but by golly, we better have a plastic Jesus in front of the library from November 25 – January 1!
Whoever you are, and for whatever reason you may or may not be upset by the cultural removal of Christ from our community’s Christmas celebrations, we need to remember a very important fact: Though the light above the nativity scene in our school’s Christmas play may be out, JESUS CHRIST IS NOT BROKEN! He does not need us to “fix” Him. Though many may want to pack their faith away for 10 months of the year, Jesus Christ does not collect dust. He is risen, and He reigns over the entire world. One day, every knee will bow before His throne, and the baby born in the manger will be King of Kings making a triumphal return to this planet!
So, as you go to celebrate the holidays this year, and as you unpack your Christmas decorations, remind yourself of a couple of things. First, remind yourself that our God deserves our worship year round. We should never pack away our devotion to Him. Second, remind yourself that though our world is a dark place, His Light never burns out. He never needs to be replaced. His promises and His plans never are short circuited. Given these truths, o come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!
“In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:4-5