Ever wonder where the giving, hospitable, kind and overall greater spirit of goodwill at Christmas comes from? Honestly, and sadly, there is more violence, death, thievery and overall hate at Christmas from the unscrupulous amongst us. Crime rates actually go up on the 24th and 25th of December. Both the good and the bad should be no surprise. There are reasons for both, and God has told us about them. We will first discuss what Satan prefers. It may sound a little depressing, but we must face the whole truth. The second part provides hope for the whole world!
First, the bad news. There is evil in this world. When we think of “evil” we should not bring to mind the “B” rated movie evil that masquerades for entertainment at the local theaters or on television. This is not the surrealistic evil that man envisions. People do not look “bad.” Satan does not have horns and wear a red costume.
Evil preys on weak faith. Evil demoralizes man with ruthlessness and heartlessness. Satan’s primary goal is for man to take his eyes off the prize. Redirecting man’s spiritual focus is what he considers success. If man concentrates on the seemingly senseless things in our world (drunk drivers that kill, children that suffer, etc) and wonders, “how can there be a God?” then Satan has won. Satan has tried to more direct tactics in the past and failed.
At the first Christmas, Herod sought to kill Jesus, calling the wise men and, inquiring what time the star would appear (Matt 2:7). Herod sought their wisdom in order to find Jesus and murder the child (Matt 2:13). Because an angel warned them in a dream, they saw through Herod (Matt 2:12). When they did not return to him, Herod ordered the wholesale murder of every firstborn Hebrew child of two years and younger (Matt 2:16). That is evil.
Commercialism in Christmas today becomes evil as it replaces the real reason for the season. People talk of buying Christmas presents and the pleasure of giving these presents all year long. The historic figure of St. Nicholas has morphed into a fictional guy named “Kris Kringle.” This “jolly old fellow,” has nothing to do with the real reason for the season aside from perhaps a giving spirit. He has hijacked Christmas from the real person, Jesus the Messiah. We will not expound on the intolerant claim of tolerance in “happy Holidays.” All this sophistry, to the world’s detriment, has displaced the wondrous miracle on a cold winter’s night some 2000 years ago. What a travesty; in the natural man’s life of materialism, Satan is winning major battles. God will win the war though. Satan makes Christmas nothing more than our coveted gift under the Christmas tree.
Now, the good news! Jesus was born! Isaiah’s prophecy, given some 700 years before the event, is true (Is 7:14; 9:6; 11:1; Jn 1:14). Why the good cheer among most of the people across the globe? Why is so much love displayed? Why the prevailing sense of a great, giving spirit? Because a precious hope of eternal life sprang forth in the form of a newborn babe lying in a manger with no crib for His bed (Matt 1:23). The child was not born into great opulence, proving that the most destitute can have this hope (Lk 2:16). The simplest of mankind can enjoy His gift (Jer 17:7; Lam 3:26; 1 Pet 1:3-5). This child was God incarnate. God humbled Himself to the likeness of man (Phil 2:8).
The good news then, the spirit of perpetual giving, the wonderful sensation of Christmas in spirit, in song and in our soul is born from the good God of love. The Christmas Spirit has nothing to do with giving or receiving gifts. The Christmas Spirit is born from what was given. It came as the greatest and longest lasting gift man has ever known. The Holy Spirit is a gift brought through Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38). We have the gift of righteousness through Jesus Christ, the babe born in Bethlehem (Rom 5:17). God’s gift through Jesus Christ our Lord is eternal life for all who believe (Jn 10:28; Rom 6:23).
God loved the world so much that He gave us His only Son, Jesus the Christ, born in the manger in Bethlehem. Whoever believes in Him can have everlasting life (Jn 3:16). The one and only gift of Christmas that even matters is the babe born in the manger who came to die for mankind (Matt 18:10).
Why all the Christmas cheer? Eternal life came to man! God gave us the greatest gift, the greatest, most perfect love, the most perfect mercy and a heavenly grace on the first Christmas day. This loving, merciful heavenly gift’s effects remain until even today! They will press upon man’s heart forever more! This is the Spirit of Christmas, the Holy Spirit of God. The first Christmas gift given was eternal life for all mankind! Merry Christmas Lander! God blessed us, every one!