Merry and HOLY Christmas to you, friends! This article by ACBC-certified counselor Lucy Ann Moll, who counsels the hurting at our Winfield office and by Skype, appeared first here on the Biblical Counseling Coalition website and is used with permission.
Who stole the HOLY of Christmas? How can we Christians reclaim it?
What changed in our hearts that many of us willingly trade the holy for the jostling in store lines and for the cyber-shopping?
Piercing questions. Yet. . .
Be encouraged that our Lord designed a peace-filled and HOLY day this holiday for you.
In this short article, let’s consider:
- Holy thievery
- Christmas restoration
Who Stole the Holy of Christmas?
The day after Thanksgiving before sunrise, the line snaked around an electonics store, with promises of deals on flat screen TVs, laptops, and smart phones. Shoppers waited, expectantly. Some cozied up in sleeping bags, others sipped overpriced coffee. Another hummed the haunting “So This Is Chrismas” by John Lennon.
Then doors flew open, people pushed, angry voices told line-jumpers to stand down. Or else.
Is this what Christmas has become?
So who stole the Christ of Christmas? One might blame stores, commercialism, atheists, or the ACLU. But it’s deeper and darker, really.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. John 10:10a, ESV
What happened to change our hearts from celebrating Christmas as a holy day into a commercialized experience?
Satan’s tactics today are subtle. Busyness and busyness and. . .frustration, dread, and wanting. Lots of wanting. Thankfully God empowers you to escape the temptation of replacing Christ with conterfeit desires (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Satan is a defeated foe. We are more than conquerors through him who loved us, the Bible trumpets.
We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39, ESV
Reclaiming the Holy
To reclaim the holy of this holiday, why not find some quiet and focus on Christ? Isaiah prophesies about the birth of Jesus in this verse.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6, NIV
Doesn’t your heart warm to this real meaning of Christmas?
Christ will be called:
What a stark contrast from today’s chaotic Christmas! Why not ponder each word and reclaim the holy over the hectic? In the pondering as God transforms your mind, expect heart change (Romans 12:2).
This term Wonderful Counselor suggests a presence of comfort. The babe in the manger is the wonderful promise of wisdom to we who follow him.
He is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom. Isaiah 28:29, ESV
The Jews in Jesus’ day looked for a mighty warrior to rescue them from Roman oppression. Rather, the King of Kings came as vulnerable baby born to poor parents. No fanfair. Just a smelly barn and hay for a bed.
And yet this Mighty God, he defeated death.
But it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:10, NIV
Seated at the right hand of the Everlasting Father, Jesus offers the gift of eternal life (John 3:16) and the Father continuously and compassionately cares for his people.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13, ESV
Doesn’t your soul long for the Lord’s peace this Christmas? The Prince of Peace promises you peace as you focus your heart and mind on him, and not on the things of this world that money can buy. Consider this verse:
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3, ESV
So when the lines at Best Buy or Walmart are long, when a family member shows his mad, when you’ve run out of energy, do this:
- Remember who Jesus is: the Prince of Peace.
- Pray for the difficult people in your life.
- Say “Merry Christmas” often.
- Give generously.
- Listen to Jesus.
And ponder the promises given by the Prince of Peace.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Biblical Counseling Center!