Only 2 days until Christmas!
At our house, we celebrate Christmas a little differently. We are focused on celebrating Jesus’s birthday, and his life. So we do this with a birthday party!
This all started as we began rethinking Christmas.
The Christmas season in America is quite fascinating. While named after Jesus, and in honor of him, as in “Christ-mas”, it’s actually become a holiday about so many OTHER things that it’s actually not about Jesus hardly at all.
The parts that are about Jesus are very serious and holy and focused mainly on the manger scene. Now I don’t know about you, but when someone celebrates my birthday, they have never once focused on the conditions at the hospital on the night of my birth. (Well, ok Moms totally get a pass on this one!) Just saying, that’s a much lower priority than focusing on pretty much the REST of my life.
We first noticed this cultural phenomenon while shopping for ornaments. Here’s a challenge for you: go to your local Target or Walmart, or any other retail store and try to find ornaments about Jesus. Seriously I dare ya. And trust me, plan ahead, as you’ll be there for a while.
Here’s what you will find, hundreds of non-Jesus items of every imagination. Santas, reindeer, flowers, beads, pinecones with farmhouse black and white checkered bows, holly, and poinsettias. Even Elmo, Minions, and Smurfs make the cut, along with flamingos, superheroes, trolls, Harry Potter, red trucks, and candy canes.
If you search long enough you may eventually find a very serious-looking (yawn/boring/move-on) manger scene. Perhaps, if you continue to search, you’ll find buried under the flamingos with red & white scarves and nutcrackers – a sparkly angel, or a cross.
That’s it. The sum total of Jesus-y things in the stores. His annual birthday celebration. Don’t you think that’s kind of strange??
Now don’t get me wrong….I love ornaments of all festive types. I’m convinced that Jesus does too. They are fun, creative, sparkly, and bring joy. Certainly, the ones based on nature, trees, and candy canes have spiritual significance.
But the plethora of things that are NOT reflective of him, on HIS birthday, does seem slightly out of balance these days.
Your birthday party!
Imagine if someone was throwing a birthday party for YOU and the whole country is invited! Somehow the party planners, friends, and family made 99% of everything about the party, and themselves. NOT about you. Or forgot and left you out of it completely. Maybe you are the guest of honor, but they completely ignored you. That would be so weird.
Even if it happened to be a really great party, it was definitely NOT about you.
If they wanted to repeat this year after year, still name the party after you, and in your honor, but nothing about it actually reflects YOU. Nothing reflects who you are, your memories, your life, your values, your heart, and your favorites. That would be even more bizarre.
Christmas in our culture has become about so many good things including presents, toys, Santa, feasting, cookies, candies, giving, wrapping, decorating, lights, beauty, winter, parties, Hallmark movies. Even a few great things like joy, peace on earth, good will toward men, loving others, generosity, and kindness. Things that God himself not only endorses but invented.
The good kind of WHAT IF!
What if, in the hustle and bustle of so many great things, we began asking ourselves if we were accidentally missing the ONE person this season is truly about? Jesus and His birthday celebration.
Let’s all embrace RETHINKING Christmas.
As it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 “Test all things and hold fast to that which is good.” This verse refers to prophesy. Prophesy means hearing from God. So we think the first step in RETHINKING Christmas starts with prayer and asking God about it. He does love a good relationship. Great relationships have great communications.
We think Jesus’ birthday is due for an upgraded birthday party. Celebrating Jesus in all the ways that matter most to Him.
Keep the conversation going in the comments!
We want to continue this conversation. Let us know what you want to do to mix things up and celebrate Jesus’ birthday in a fresh new way this year?