Merry is as merry celebrates
Rev. James L. Snyder
Although I may look a little stodgy on the outside with a few gray hairs blossoming on the top, I still know how to celebrate, and this is the time of the year to do that sort of thing. I love a good Christmas celebration.
For the last few years, I have never had to check my calendar to know when it is time to celebrate the Christmas season. It seems that the Thanksgiving turkey always gives rise to what I shall refer to as the Holiday Turkey. No sooner is my Thanksgiving turkey resting snugly inside of me when the Holiday Turkeys begin their assault on Christmas.
Do not let this get out, but I love it.
Some people are quite offended when these Holiday Turkeys begin their assault on Christmas. I would be insulted if they did not. I expect them to attack anything to do with Christmas. It just goes to show that the Christmas story has not lost its offense.
Those of us who celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ embrace this time of the year with a great deal of joy and praise. After all, we are celebrating the fact that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. What better message to celebrate at this time of year when most people are having a difficult time.
Don’t get me wrong here. I believe in celebrating Jesus Christ every day. There is something special about setting aside one day out of the year to recognize his birth. I do not worship the manger nor do I venerate the three wise men. I do, however, appreciate the fact that Jesus Christ came into this world and it certainly is my privilege once a year to celebrate His birthday. I know He was not born on December 25, but it is the thought that counts.
Even those who do celebrate Christmas sometime celebrate the wrong thing. People who do not have much money spend themselves poor getting Christmas presents for their family, and then they spend the rest of the year trying to pay off those purchases. That is a nice gesture but that is not the reason for the season. Instead of spending money this year for your family, why not spend a little time with them. That will do more good than something you buy in the store that will be obsolete by the time they open it Christmas morning.
Then there are those who take this time of the year to do nothing but party, party, party. By party, I mean getting so inebriated they have no idea what they are doing or saying. Many people will die during the celebration of Christ’s birth because of some intoxicated driver.
This is not the reason for the season.
You can always tell the quality of a person by what they celebrate and how they celebrate. Of course, the Holiday Turkeys will accuse me right here of being judgmental. Perhaps they are right.
What is wrong with a little bit of being judgmental?
Why is it we can be judgmental in every area of our life except those areas that are matters of life and death.
My doctor is so judgmental that sometimes I would like to punch him in the nose. What right does he have to tell me that I have something wrong with me? Well, he’s the doctor. How many people have shortened their life by not listening to their judgmental doctor?
Some alcohol-saturated person will challenge me and say, “You have no right telling me what to do. I’m going to have a good time. Don’t you judge me.” Then they get smashed, jump in their car and end up killing some young family coming home from a Christmas party.
That certainly is not the reason for the season.
The Christmas season is not the season to get so drunk you do not know what you are doing that you hurt other people and it is not the season to spend yourself into the poor house for the next year or so.
The Christmas season is the season to celebrate God’s answer to man’s incurable dilemma. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV). The answer to all of man’s problem is Jesus Christ.
The Christmas season is the season to join with family and neighbor and sing of God’s amazing Grace. Go ahead. Deck your halls with Holly but in the midst of it all, give God the glory in the highest. This is the season for our streets to echo with the joyous celebration of Christ coming into this world.
Then there are those who object.
I have a proposition for all of the Holiday Turkeys who object to me celebrating Christmas or trying to call it something other than what it really is.
You do not have to celebrate the Christmas season; just allow me to celebrate it in a way that I see fit. Then, I will not celebrate April 1 or Halloween but will allow you to celebrate your holidays anyway you want to. I think that is fair. It is a two-for-one deal I am not sure anybody could ever pass up.
Celebrate your holiday, and I will celebrate the Christmas season and wish all my friends a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.