In the wake of the devastating Newton Connecticut tragedy one week ago, I find it difficult to consider shopping as a joyous part of the holiday season. Twenty-plus young lives were extinguished before they had a chance to thrive. Sons will never become doctors or lawyers. Daughters will never grow up to become CEOs or presidents. In essence, Satan physically invaded a small town and wiped out a future generation. I cannot find solace in purchasing an item at Macy’s. Instead, I find myself thanking God for the safety of my own seven year old son. I contemplate the real meaning of Christmas. For 27 families, this holiday season will have a new lasting impression, whether they are believers or not.
Becky Kelley’s ballad, “Where’s the Line to See Jesus” is an incredibly timely song. The opening verses bring to mind the idolization of trinkets, the Christmas season has been turned into. We’ve somehow taken the importance of the day and commercialized it. We plan our activities around the shopping spree, turning what should be a day of remembrance to the Lord, into a day of unwinding after the self imposed deadlines, physical and mental stresses associated with the world’s definition of what Christmas is. Sadly, Jesus is afforded a simple prayer on His day; a prayer that usually takes a distant second to unwrapping gifts.
When did we lose sight of His precious gift to us? When did He become less important than an X-Box, a car, diamond earrings or a gold watch? When did offering a meal to the poor becoming more of a burden than trying to set up a new television and surround sound system? Why do we stand in line to take a photo with a hired Santa, but refuse to take an hour to teach our children the story of our Lord’s birth?
I pray for the families of the victims, of the Newton Connecticut tragedy. I pray that time was spent teaching those children the Gospel. I pray that the adult victims knew the Lord Jesus intimately. Most of all, I pray that this horrific incident sparks an awakening within the Christian community and the world at large.
We need Jesus now, more than ever. Parents, we have to teach our children the truth of who He is, and what His ultimate sacrifice means for our lives. We need to reinsert Christ back into the holiday, not just as a simple catch phrase, but as the backbone of celebration. Jesus lives in our hearts. We’re responsible for spreading His gospel throughout the world. Let’s start today by remembering why we celebrate His birthday. Believers, let’s pray for those who do not understand our way of thinking, and ask Christ to guide them toward His truth. Let’s drop the moniker, “Happy Holidays”. Today, go out and tell someone, “Merry CHRISTmas”.