Your Church +Portland


Christmas Is So Greatness

Welcome to my favorite time of year!

I’m a Christmas junkie and lover of all things Christmas. I make sure the house lights are on by mid November, the tree decorated by Thanksgiving and that Christmas music is playing for a solid 4 weeks leading up to the big day. I love all the baking, buying presents and sitting down on the couch to watch the classics. I would consider living at the North Pole too if it wasn’t so cold up there. The other day I was admiring my Santa-like physique in the mirror wondering if I could moonlight as the jolly old fat guy for some extra income. I did however end up elfing the idea (yeah I know, groan!).

I know not everyone enjoys it as much as me. A big part of Christmas is having the spirit of it. It’s a day of giving, a day for being together and for being thankful. I heard a story last week that some people actually spend the entire day of Christmas in a movie theater. To me that would be sad. I would rather spend it serving those less fortunate at a soup kitchen or maybe hang out at somebody’s house celebrating  the day than to spend it alone with my phone or in a movie theater. I’m sure the reason for my traditional views have a lot to do with my childhood and how great my parents made Christmas for me and my brothers. We weren’t rich or well off by any means but even as kids our joy wasn’t just in the number of gifts but also how fun my parents made everything surrounding Christmas be. If you watch “A Christmas Story” you’ll get a good idea of what I mean (my alter identity is Ralphie). So for me it’s sad when I think about the kids who don’t have the fond memories I have. It would be tough to have no frame of reference, no happy moments or to treat this like any other time of year.  

Let’s face it, Christmas has to have a focal point. It has to be greater than the tree, décor, food, gifts, Santa and greater than family. It has to be bigger than what we do every year or how we do it. For Christmas to work, it must begin from within. Bear with my thought process here. For Christmas to really ‘work’ I think it has to start with the why. The ‘why we do what we do’. Why we make such a big deal about it. Why we celebrate. Then the why can answer the what – what this season is all about. So if I haven’t confused you yet, please keep reading.  

John 3:16-17
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

The focal point of Christmas is the birth of God’s Son. The verse you just read represents pure love. It’s mercy extended. Forgiveness. A way out. A new lease on life. It’s about being given the most meaningful, priceless gift from the heart of God. One with no strings attached. It’s acceptance; free of judgment and condemnation. It’s an invitation to be real with ourselves, honest regarding our need of God. So when we make the birth of Christ the focal point of Christmas then God’s heart comes through in ‘how’ we do what we do. In other words, love becomes the center. It’s where mercy is extended. It helps us get over our differences and we become people who forgive each other. We lovingly accept each other whether or not we agree. Opinions and condemning words are put to rest. Freedom to be ourselves. Free to laugh and enjoy the company of each other. We learn to recognize God’s love for us creating a thankful heart for all we’ve been given. That’s Christmas! When we make it about what God did then we reciprocate that love towards others. That’s why Christmas can be so greatness. 

Nobody’s walking out on this fun old fashioned Christmas!
Pastor Shian

Pastor ShianComment