The meaning of Christmas


Christmas means different things to different people.

Christmas traditions and customs vary from household to household, from church to church and from country to country.

The important thing is that we will observe, in some appropriate manner, this most important birthday in all the long history of the world.

Many people have strong feelings about Christmas. And that is good, for we all need to have strong feelings about how we pay honor and glory and tribute to our Savior.

All of us agree that it is a time for expressing our love for each other, for exchanging gifts, for remembering the sick, the needy and the elderly, and for seeing that Santa Claus comes to see the children. All these things are important.

But some of the disagreements are not important.

There are those who shudder at the commercialization of the Christmas season. They say it is sacrilegious.

But isn’t it great the whole world lights up at Christmas to honor Jesus Christ? That even in the commercialized shopping centers nearly all the sales at this season revolve, in one way or another, around Christ’s birthday.

Sure, the merchants make money. But merchants have to earn a living just as the fishermen had to bring in a catch in Jesus’ day. Is it really wrong? After all, there are many Christian merchants and a lot of this money eventually finds its way back to the church and to the service of the Lord.

Sure, the newspapers and television sets are filled with Christmas ads. But every time the word Christmas appears, commercially or otherwise, that honors the name of the Master.

Good Friday is recognized as one of the holiest days of the year. But there is hardly any commercialization of Good Friday so the day goes almost unnoticed except for church observances by the faithful few.

When we inaugurate a president, whenever a king is crowned, even when there is a royal wedding, consider all the commercialization and ballyhoo that surrounds it.

Isn’t the birth of Christ even more important? And if all this commercialization does nothing but call attention to the birth of Christ, doesn’t that make it really worthwhile?

Christmas always reminds me of the greatest miracle of all time. Though He owned the world, He was born of humble parents.

Though he had no formal education, the world’s greatest literature is filled with His sayings. He left no musical compositions, but the greatest of all music pays tribute to Him.

His only building was in the simple carpentry of Nazareth, but architecture has achieved its greatest triumphs in the mighty temples and cathedrals erected to worship Him.

He founded no institutions, but the world is dotted with schools, hospitals and orphanages dedicated to Him.

Today, the whole world counts time by a calendar that marks His birth.

This is the Christmas season. And if it takes a certain amount of commercialism to focus the spotlight on Him, to glory in His birth, then let it be. As far as I’m concerned, Christ deserves the biggest production of all.

— Hoover Adams



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