The holiday season is here and with it all the hustle and bustle the season brings. ABC News reports that spending on Christmas gifts alone will exceed $465 billion, and total holiday retail sales are expected to be trillions of dollars. Most retailers report that the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas accounts for 19 percent of their yearly income. The average American will spend 42 hours on Christmas shopping and activities, all while there is generally given an acknowledgment in our society that this is the time of year we choose to recognize the birth of Jesus Christ, and there will be the inevitable call to “Keep the Christ in Christmas.”
If we desire to recognize something greater than ourselves during Christmas, we need to be reminded of a couple of things. First, the story of the birth of Jesus is a very humble one. Our Lord born in a shelter built for animals, sleeping in a manger, the angels of glory declaring the birth to the lowly shepherds who came to see the baby.
The story of our savior’s birth is simplistically beautiful. We need to slow down and bring humility and simplicity back to the season.
We also need to be reminded that the wise men brought Jesus gifts that would help meet the needs of a young family. We should follow their example and instead of pumping millions of dollars into the economy buying gifts that will soon be lost or forgotten, we could spend that money to help those that are truly in need. With the disasters that have occurred in recent months, there is no shortage of opportunities to make a real difference with our Christmas cash. It seems to me that these are ways that would help us “Keep the Christ in Christmas.”
The Rev. Derl Hicks is pastor of Free Will Baptist Church in Arkansas City.
Reprinted from Dec. 7, 2018.