by Pastor E. Allen Stanley, Jr. | December 18, 2012
“For unto you is born this day in the city of
Are You Ready for Christmas? Or, should I say, “Are you ready for the holidays?” There is a difference, you know. Christmas is a celebration, an observation of an event in history. The holidays are a celebration of traditions and man-made affairs.
This is what we have come to know as the holidays, an event that begins on Thanksgiving and runs through New Year’s Day. The word “holiday” itself means “holy day”, which is a day set aside for religious or secular celebration. It is a day that emphasized giving and sharing and promotes unity and love for our fellow man.
Somehow, Christmas was swallowed up by the holiday. The true meaning of Christmas was strangled by the traditions of men to celebrate a holiday rather than to observe the birth of our Savior.
We love the holidays. We love the eating, the gifts, the decorations, the family gatherings, the vacation time, the time off from work, the time off from school, the food, the baking, the shopping, the pushing, the shoving, the noise, the chaos, the pandemonium that comes with the holidays.
We must love it, because we are willing to get up at 3:00 a.m. on “Black Friday”, to be at Wal-Mart at 6:00 a.m. to find the best deals for that Christmas present, just to turn around the day after Christmas and stand in line for hours in the “return items only” line to exchange that perfect gift. We must love it. We’re willing to go through all the stress and strain of celebrating this holiday. But why? I can say without any hesitation that we are looking for happiness.
But our focus shouldn’t be on material and commercial things. Our minds and hearts should look back to memory of the event that took place on this day and the reality of what our Lord and Savior accomplished by being born to save all mankind.