During this time of year most people hang on the edge in anticipation. “Little people” (children) become anxious about the coming of Christmas and adults begin to look forward to celebrations of the New Year for a variety of reasons.
Approaching year’s end for adolescents ushers in eager expectations of Santa’s visit. As tradition would have it, hopes mount for receiving gifts as well as relaxed restrictions on candy and foods not usually permitted. Though this season will be somewhat different with the limitations imposed by the current pandemic, it’s doubtful the little people will be too adversely affected.
For the responsible parties, as is typically the case, there’s the challenge of often making something out of nothing and somehow delivering on year-long promises. Parents and grandparents string holiday lights and mystically fill the space beneath the Christmas tree in observance of an occasion that eclipses each of the children’s own birthdays. While Santa gets all the credit, it’s Dad, Mom, or the grandparents who end up sacrificing over-time hours or foregoing certain necessities to pay debts accumulated during Christmas.
Of course, retailers aren’t concerned about the mountain of financial obligations people have to spend nine months trying to climb in order to simply have enough available credit that they can shop for Christmas the following year. There’s never been a sale advertised; “Clearance (but only if you’re financially responsible)” because their only concern is the ever elusive bottom line. Besides, isn’t that what really, as they say, makes the world go ‘round?
In reality, there is an unconventional truth concerning the concept of Christmas from which society continues to move farther away with each passing season. It’s He who was present for the formation of all that exists and Him who actually makes the world go around. It’s almost insulting that in this age of political correctness, some continue supporting the quest to altogether remove Christ from Christmas. With the true meaning of the occasion all but lost, there’s the distinctive possibility future generations won’t even understand the real purpose of the holiday. Instead of their eyes lighting up about Jesus and the thought of attending church, children are now allowed the choice to “opt out” of services because it’s not convenient or doesn’t fit into their schedules.
That was never the case growing up in “Chank’s” house. Though you had the option of hanging out until midnight Saturday there was no choice concerning church Sunday morning. Even at the point my siblings and I had aged and were able to purchase our own vehicles, it wasn’t necessary to ride with her to First Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. But it was, however, a wise choice to find our way out Ten Mile Highway first thing each Sunday morning.
Today’s host of twisted ideologies encourages youth to embark upon a crusade for personal growth as opposed to divine enlightenment and spiritual maturity. Many identify with a “higher power” but fall short of submission to Jesus as the Son of God. When recently engaged in discussion of the topic with a group of college students, the most frequent comment received was of the sort: “I don’t follow organized doctrine but kinda do my own thing.”
Many people today; even professed Christians, simply don’t see the necessity of maintaining a significant “connection” with the Lord. They more-or-less keep Him strategically positioned just outside their daily activities so as to be, even if just psychologically, void of the “judgment” zone. Their feeling that having a virtual relationship gives them ample access and the ability to summon the Lord at will is sufficient for the bulk of self-appointed “believers.”
God so loved the world that He willingly sacrificed His only Son but we struggle to find the time for church services a couple days throughout the week. Even on Christmas; the day attributed to Him, irony lies in the fact services are usually abbreviated to allow parishioners freedom to return home and enjoy time with family. In short, it’s the Lord’s sacrifice that allowed time for all mankind yet we can’t take out any for Him.
To pose a question or share your opinion, you can reach B. G. Howard at email@example.com or P. O. Box 8103, Jacksonville, FL 32239.