Every year around Christmas time, serious concerns are voiced regarding the validity of Christians celebrating Christmas. Christmas is the most popular holiday in America. Both the secular and the sacred celebrate it, but for different reasons. Some note that the origins of Christmas are pagan, Some see it as the greatest business time of the year which is fueled by the exchange of gifts, others point out that the Bible overtly denounces Christmas trees as idolatrous, while others consider it the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and still others suggest that Santa Claus is a dangerous fairy tale. Either way, it is a very important holiday.
Where is your focus during Christmas? Perhaps you’re thinking, I know Christ is the reason for the Christmas season, but how can I be focused on someone I can’t see and maybe even don’t really know? With all the activities and church events to attend and people to see, this may be a challenging question to answer. So many obligations and tasks may make it difficult to find true meaning. Or perhaps the opposite is true—maybe the loneliness of the season weighs heavy on your mind. Perhaps it is the loss or distance of loved ones, which alone can make anyone feel isolated during this time of year.
Whether you are overwhelmed by activities or feeling isolated by loneliness, it’s likely that you’re feeling somewhat out of the spirit this Christmas season—especially if your eyes aren’t fixed on Jesus. But you must remember the awesome gift God gives us in that He is with us! If we will keep our focus on Him, He will guide us through every situation and circumstance we encounter.
Christ is —the goal we strive for and the focus of our lives. As long as we have our eyes fixed on Him, we will walk in His ways and avoid running astray. Psalm 46:1 promises us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Like a compass, He is faithful to show us right where we are and where our next step should be.
Jesus is Emmanuel, which means that He is God with us (Matt. 1:23). The indescribably awesome, infinite Lord of all that exists took on a form like ours and dwelt among us. Through His Holy Spirit, He is with us in every circumstance we will ever encounter. Therefore, we are never alone. Regardless of where we are or what we experience, we are assured of His wonderful, powerful, loving presence.
Jesus is our Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). Even when our hectic schedules and overwhelming responsibilities increase during this season, we are assured tranquility in our relationships with Christ. He can speak solace and peace to our circumstances when everything around us is in chaos.
Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12). Although you and I may experience difficulties and dark moments, Christ lights the way for us. He assures us that if we faithfully walk with Him, we will not remain in darkness. The Savior will illuminate our paths and lead us to the answers we need.
Jesus is our Great High Priest (Heb. 4:15). He is the holy One who shared in our humanity and who bridges the gap between us and the Father—ushering us into relationships with God and teaching us His ways. Jesus makes intercession for us, understands our human weaknesses, and has the ability and knowledge to meet every need we will ever have. Therefore, there is no One better to teach us how to live.
Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16). He is the sovereign ruler over all that exists. No problem is too daunting for Him, and we can always trust He will act in our best interests with love, grace, and wisdom. Therefore, He is our perfect Leader who always guides our paths to triumph.
Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). He is our Deliverer, Redeemer, and Savior who does what we could never do for ourselves. He reconciles us to the Father and breaks the hold sin and death have over us. Because Jesus has defeated these, our greatest foes, we can be certain that nothing we ever experience will hinder His perfect presence and provision in our lives.
Believe it or not, even Santa can be saved! Far from merely being a dangerous fairy tale, “Santa Claus” in reality is an Anglicized form of the Dutch name Sinter Klaas, which in turn is a reference to Saint Nicholas. According to tradition, Saint Nick not only lavished gifts on needy children but also valiantly supported the doctrine of the Trinity at the Council of Nicea in AD 325. Thus, Christians may legitimately look to Saint Nick as a genuine hero of the faith.
So what things are vying for your attention this Christmas? What are you spending your time and energy trying to accomplish? This December 25 as you celebrate the coming of Christ with a Christmas tree surrounded by presents, may the selflessness of Saint Nick be a reminder of the Savior who gave the greatest gift of all: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Jesus is worthy of your focus, worship, and praise at all times, regardless of the season. The Prince of Peace, guiding Light, Great High Priest, Lord and King—the One who willingly delivers you from all your sins and burdens—is always with you. I pray this Christmas Christ will be foremost in your thoughts, your comfort in times of loneliness, and your refuge in the midst of storm. May He bless you greatly as you seek His face and celebrate His glorious birth.