When we consider this season of wonder, lights, snow and the overall hopeful feelings that permeate the entire “Christmas experience,” we more naturally attribute them to some spiritual sense of giving. It is as if magically every year from Thanksgiving through New Years we are transformed from our selfish Scroogyness to a creature that is filled with love, charity, forbearance and selflessness. Somehow when the clock strikes midnight on the third Wednesday in November there is a transformation in the human psyche and spirit. It’s like nothing seen before (except it supposedly happens every year) all year long. Of course this sensation peaks on Christmas day. People are amazed when violence takes place on black Friday! How can people be so ruthless about shopping when the season is about giving and hope and the endorphins we generate when we give?
Some might even consider the above meager attempt at describing the “Christmas Spirit” a good description of Christmas. It is an experience we can enjoy every year, unless we’re maced by a fellow shopper at our local department store. That person needs some of the Christmas Spirit and perpetual hope of Christmas. We don’t realize they had perpetual hope. They waited, hopefully, in line all night to get a specific toy or game. They just thought their hopes were dashed because they couldn’t get their hands on what they wanted.
We watch Christmas specials that depict wonderful life changing experiences due to the spirit of Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good inspiring story too! I watch more than my share of A Christmas Carol and I cry at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life with the best of em.
I read a little note by Normon W. Brooks online. It is cute and carries great inspirational sophistry. He wrote,
“Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do for yourself.”
Wow! What amazes me is someone can write something that seems so eloquent and inspiring and completely miss the point and reality of Christmas. The last statement is rather makes the point. “The good you do for others is good you do for yourself.” So, we do good for others to benefit ourselves? We do good, so we can have good? We do good, so we can be good? This seems very circular and selfish. Some would say, “Pastor, you miss the point. The good comes back to you, and it’s good for your soul.” Still, the WHY we do good is a question one must answer. Are we hoping for something good in return?
Once again, we miss the entire focus of Christmas. Christmas is not about us doing anything. It is not about us hoping on anything. It is not about man at all. Christmas is about God saving man.