The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays from Jesus

Have you ever wondered what God’s view of Christmas is? I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately and I really don’t think it’s what we would have imagined. I see and hear Christians getting upset and forwarding emails about how someone removed a manger scene or is no longer saying Merry Christmas, but Happy Holidays.

First of all there is no where in the Bible that tells us to celebrate or to worship Christmas. Many say I’m not worshiping Christmas, I’m worshiping Christ. Are you really? Do you worship Christ the other 363 days of the year or just on Christmas and Easter?

You may ask is Christmas a religious holiday? Yes and No. However, it was not originally a Christian holiday. As far as I know all Christian or religious holidays are manmade. Christians seem to go nuts trying to make it a spiritual or religious holiday and the anti-Christians are trying to make it a non-religious holiday. All while we are in this battle we forget the main point and it’s not about worshipping baby Jesus.

Go back to when you were a kid. What was it you enjoyed about Christmas? The thrill of anticipation, the cold, (no snow here. in fact I’ve never had white Christmas) watching the Andy Williams Christmas Special or the old Rudolf show, shopping and of course as a kid it was hoping for that new toy.

I remember one Christmas when I was around 6 years old I had come across some coupons. Back in those days you could take them to the grocery store and exchange them for cash. I had a whole $1.25 in coupons. Then I went to the variety store and was able to buy everyone in my family (there was 6 of us) a Christmas gift and I even had enough left over for the wrapping paper. I’ll never forget it. It was a shiny purple. I wrapped them myself and I was so excited. It was a month long of a special feeling. Many of you probably still enjoy this today. However, the political war has been a distraction from the joy.

I couldn’t help but think what would God enjoy? Many times when I think of this I try to look at it from a parent perspective. What are the things we really enjoy about our kids? For many years I’ve been the Scrooge around Christmas. I’ve always wondered why I felt that way. I believe it is because of the internal battle of Religious verses Secular.

Hopefully as we’ve gotten older we have learned to enjoy the giving more than the getting, especially if you have kids. It’s another special blessing to give to those who don’t expect it or that may be having financial troubles at this time. I cannot express the excitement I feel when I see my children having a good time, laughing, excited and getting along and when I see them reaching out to someone else, well, I couldn’t ask for anything more. I can’t help but think of the Statler Brothers song, “The Greatest Christmas Present is one that You Can’t Buy.”

This is when it became apparent to me that this is probably what God is experiencing too. Watching us enjoy ourselves and loving each other. It’s giving to those in need and not just at Christmas, but all year around. There is nothing I believe is more pleasing to God than seeing His children loving each other. I really doubt He cares much about all the Christmas hoopla going on at the churches or if manger scenes are set out or if we have a Christmas tree in our living room. What is your relationship to Him now where you are and where He is?

I believe God wants us to worship Him and not Christmas and we do this by serving and loving each other. I’m sure it’s good for us to remember the arrival of Jesus on this planet. This is good, but don’t let it become a distraction of the present. Christmas to me is a time for family and Thanksgiving is as well. It is a time for us all to be together and enjoy each other and not bicker over stupid insignificant issues.

Don’t be too concerned about keeping Christ in Christmas, but keeping the truth of Christ in our lives every day. If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11

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