Last week, during a conference call, a well-to-do client talked about the stress he and others experienced during the “holidays.” He said that he was just recovering from the 2013 holiday season. Later that day, the not so well-to-do lady who cuts my hair talked to me about how glad she would feel once the holidays are over because of all the stress associated with them. Both my client and my barber talked to me about how people strive for perfect holidays, my barber bemoaned the emphasis on “things” rather than family and friends.
It occurs to me that there is no freedom or rest or contentment or true enjoyment in the idea of a “perfect Christmas.” In fact, the idea of a perfect Christmas, as portrayed by retailers and governments (who want us to spend money) and credit card companies, is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You could say that the idea of a perfect Christmas, as portrayed by the aforementioned elements of society, is (whether intentional or not) an attack on the First Christmas for the First Christmas came to be because we are an imperfect people –in fact we are a sinful people.
The irony is that in not striving for a perfect Christmas we can experience a wonderful Christmas. When not striving for a perfect Christmas, but as imperfect people trusting in a perfect Savior, we can experience a Christmas of peace and contentment.
The image of a perfect Christmas as presented by retailers and car companies and governments and financial institutions is cruel as it leads people as lambs to financial and emotional slaughter – it is an image that can only disappoint, can only be fleeting, and can only lead to disillusionment.
But when an imperfect and sinful people rest and trust in a perfect Savior born on that First Christmas, then and only then can we know rest and contentment and peace; then and only then can we focus on people and not on things; then and only then can we escape the bondage of financial slavery; and then and only then can we know the Greatest Gift of All – our Lord Jesus Christ. God gave His Son to us on that First Christmas – are we giving His Son to others on this Christmas?
Let us tell others that we are not striving for a perfect Christmas, but rather that we are rejoicing in a Perfect Savior.