The then known world rejoiced when He was crucified. Tomorrow December 25, Christmas, the day selected to celebrate His birth, the world once again will rejoice not because “the Savior reigns,” but because Jesus continues to be marginalized on the day many of His followers chose to celebrate His Birth. As followers of Jesus, we must stop fighting for Him to be recognized or regarded. We must not fight over things, titles, power, position or prestige, as followers we have no need for preeminence, popularity or to be rewarded by the world or the things of it.
Take a deep breath, exhale and relax. Jesus Himself made this fact perfectly clear in John 16:20: “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy”. So you should not expect the world to react to Jesus the same way you do. Consequently, the world provides many ways for you to conform to it through advertising, TV shows, music, and movies. We’re told that if we wear a particular attire, say the right things, and act a certain way, we’ll be loved and accepted by everyone, we will fit in. In John 15, Jesus tells his friends, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world” John 15:19.
Following Jesus will not always be accepted, and more often than not, it won’t be popular. We are to live by faith while leaning on His presence we must not flinch in the face of criticism, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, nor negotiate at the table of the enemy. Christians love Jesus and have a burning desire to be close to Him, to be entirely consumed by His love, no one of the world can even begin to understand this type of longing. We must realize we are not a majority here. We are on a very long, rough, and narrow road Matthew 7:13–14. We will encounter few companions along our journey, we are among the few who, by the grace of God, have come to faith in Jesus. It’s not an attractive thing in this world. The only ground we hold, is the name of the holiday, “Christmas,” in what some would consider to be the Christmas story itself and even that can be a slippery slope. All other Christmas assets, from Christmas trees to colorful lights, mistletoe, to sending cards, etc. is in no way central to our faith.
We must not always act so surprised, or appalled when people sign cards or send text messages saying “Merry Xmas” then arguing with them that they are crossing Jesus out of Christmas, it should be expected. Jesus foretold of things like this. Stop fighting for, and foaming at the mouth over Christmas. We must stop trying to make the current earth our heaven now, that is not our job, as followers of our perfect and true God we already have a clear mission, and a purpose, besides this is currently not our home Hebrews 13:14. If we allow ourselves to get whipped into a frenzy against the culture, then we lose our joy. If we know who Jesus is and what He has done for us and why He came, then why would we expect that those who don’t get it would celebrate the same way we do?
In John 15:9, Jesus says, “Now remain in my love.” The key to following our greatest gift that is Jesus in a world where fitting in is the most important thing is to stay in God’s love. To remain in God’s love is allowing God’s love to filter every thought, feeling and action we will ever have. It’s making God’s love the foundation of our lives. When we remain, we don’t compromise our convictions to conform to the world culture. Instead, we use our faith to help transform the world around us. We have every reason to celebrate. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” Luke 2:11. Those of us who, by the grace of God, get what this really means should be overflowing with joy. Jesus reassured us, “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” John 16:22. This Christmas, rejoice! Let no one take your joy from you. This Christmas, every Christmas, and every day into and throughout eternity – You have every reason to rejoice.