Have a jolly, balanced Christmas

Much of the hard things of Christianity stems from running to extremes.  Take, for example, the debate on the sovereignty of God in salvation.  One cries out, “God is totally in control!”, and the other cries out, “We have free will!”  The proper balance is that God is totally in control and orchestrates our free choices according to His purposes.  Or consider the tension of grace and works.  One says, “We can do nothing!” and the other, “We must obey the law!”  The balance is that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, and in light of that, we worship Him by obeying Him.

Around Christmastime, one says “Christmas is about family, love, and forgiveness (etc.)!”, and the other says, “Christmas is all about Jesus!”  On one extreme, people treat Christmas as if it were a secular holiday, and on the other extreme, people feel guilty about enjoying family and festivities, and so on.

Christmas is all about Jesus.  Actually, every day is all about Jesus.  But that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the other things.  Now, it’s not about a hierarchy.  It’s not as if Christmas is first about Jesus, second about family, and so on.  Christmas (and every day) is supremely about Jesus, and we can enjoy family in Him, we can enjoy food from His bounty in Him, we can enjoy love in Him, we can enjoy gift-giving in Him, caroling in Him, decorations in Him.  The problem is when we exclude Jesus from anything, and not just on Christmas, but on any day.

So, reclaiming Christmas for its true meaning doesn’t mean stripping it of all of its enjoyments.  Rather, it’s about enjoying the holiday in His name.

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