Wheels Ministry Weekly Message 6 - 12/14/21 (True Meaning of Christmas)
We hear it all the time, “don’t forget the meaning of Christmas.” Yet how many people know the real meaning of Christmas? According to a survey released by the American Bible Society, 94% of Americans celebrate Christmas but only 15% of Americans read the Bible’s account of the birth of Christ as part of their Christmas traditions.
“There is nothing wrong with enjoying some of the great Christmas films that have been made over the decades,” says American Bible Society’s Geoffrey Morin. “It is just important that Christians don’t make holiday celebrations more about Scrooge and Ralphie than about Jesus.”
The survey also found that knowledge of the biblical account of Christmas was lacking. Fewer than half of Americans (42 percent) were able to correctly identify what the Bible says brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem for Jesus’ birth–reporting for a census.
We know the true meaning of Christmas is religious, but in all the revelry, it is easy to downplay it. We become mesmerized by the decorative blends of red, green, gold, and silver; the nostalgic sounds of carols; the scent of newness in new purchases; the various flavors of rich desserts and favorite drinks; the hugs and squeezes exchanged with the giving of gifts. It takes effort to keep the reason for the season in our minds.
It might help to focus on some Christmas quotes during the month of December until the 25th arrives. Here are some quotes that can feed our attentiveness to the true meaning of Christmas.
The Significance of Christmas
"Christmas is about Christ. When we forget that, we lose the true magic of Christmas."
"To catch the real meaning of the “spirit of Christmas,” we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the 'Spirit of Christ.'"
"For Christmas began in a humble, hay-filled box of splintered wood. . . And in the end, when He had ransomed our sins with His blood, the Lord of Christmas was laid down in a box of stone. How fitting that each Christmas season brightly wrapped boxes skirt the pine boughs of Christmas trees around the world."
"Christmas has a dark side. It’s painful for those of us who lost loved ones during the holidays. What puts it back into sparkling perspective is knowing that Christ was born so that we might all be reunited again. That’s the real sparkle in Christmas."
The Christmas story is penmanship of the most brilliant sort, where God crafted a beginning that would never be subject to an ending."
"The best Christmases always require the gift of self."
"Christmas is not for the gifts we exchange. It's not about sleigh rides or sweet candy canes. Nay, Christmas is simple. A time to recall Christ's gift of atonement He gave to us all."
Don't Miss the Meaning
"If we do not set aside time to focus together on what God’s Word tells us about the promise of Christ, on Christmas morning we can find ourselves surrounded by mounds of torn gift wrap, our laps full of presents, but with hearts that are empty and unprepared."
"I may plan to make Christ the center of Christmas, but when I wait until December to focus on celebrating His birthday, I become entangled in Christmas lights, holiday baking, and festive engagements, often wondering if I've experienced the illusive 'true meaning' of Christmas."
Love and Serve
"Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you."
"Want to create the best Christmas ever? Forgive someone who doesn’t deserve your forgiveness. Hug a stranger. Pass on something that you want to keep for yourself. Spend time with the ones you love. Spend time on your knees. . . Christmas is about Christ and Christ is all about your joy and happiness."
"If you'd like to keep CHRIST in Christmas this year, I'd humbly suggest that instead of just posting about it as a status on Facebook, that perhaps you try to find a family in your neighborhood who could use a little help or perhaps donate to a local food bank anonymously. That's keeping CHRIST in Christmas!"
"In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit, that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service."
Christmas All Year Round
"Instead of protesting and cursing others because they write "X-Mas" instead of 'Christmas;' try being Christmas. . . Christ doesn't care how you write Christmas; he cares how you live Christmas all year long."
"As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always."
"Every day is Christmas. Everyday Christ embraces us with His love, peace and joy."
"The Christmas spirit itself ought to be the mark of every Christian all year round."
"Everyday should be Christmas. Christ first loved us, we ought to love one another."
"Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas."
"Remember too the Christ-child, grew up to be a man; to hide him in a cradle, is not our dear Lord's plan. So keep the Christmas spirit, share it with others far and near, from week to week and month to month, throughout the entire year!"
"May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children, and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake. Amen."
"That is my prayer for you this Christmas—that you would experience the fullness of Christ . . . that you would be amazed that Christ can be so real to you."