The “Christmas Spirit” seems to have faded some. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong. But it seems like more people have a “Bah-humbug-get-to-work-and-stop-wasting-time-on-frivilous-celebrations” view of Christmas, or a “give-me-give-me” view of Christmas than an “excited-generous-grateful-and-celebratory” view of Christmas. In other words, I encounter more Scrooges than Cratchits. Worse, I feel the pressure of society pushing me toward a “Scrooge” outlook of Christmas and away from the generous outlook Cratchit. We have drifted from celebrating Christmas as the birth of a Savior to worshipping the idol of materialism and wealth. We have turned our focus from the gift of God, a “Son given to us,” and focused on material gain and greed instead. But I’m not going to give in to the Scrooge spirit of Christmas. I’m going to celebrate Christmas as a revolution flowing out of the gift of God received on that first Christmas day, a generous gift of mercy and grace. Will you join me? Here’s how we can do it.
First, remember the first Christmas occurred because “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16) to save us from death and sin, to provide us with an abundant and eternal life. And His only begotten Son, whose birth we celebrate on Christmas, loved us so much that He gave Himself to fill us with joy and make us whole and without fault (Ephesians 5:25-27). I’m going to follow suit. I’m going to give myself—not just my time, my energy, or my tolerance, but my whole self—to family, friends, and even strangers. Giving of ourselves begins a revolution in the midst of the self-seeking and self-promoting world in which we live.
Second, I’m going to “join” with other people just like the Christ whose birth we celebrate on Christmas did for us. He joined us by emptying Himself to be born of a woman, raised as a child, and live as a man. He became Emmanuel, God with us, on a whole new level. I’m going to join Him by joining with other people, accepting them “where they are” and “who they are.” In joining with others, I will look to discover the image of the Creator in each person and, rather than “call out” aspects I disagree with, I will nurture the image of our Creator in their lives. Revolutionary, isn’t it? To accept the complexity of people, look for the image of our Creator within them, and nurture that image?
Third, I will serve others in love. Perhaps the best way to give myself to others and manifest an acceptance of them, is to serve them in love. And I will be following the example of the Baby born on that first Christmas day. He not only came to earth as a Man but as a servant of mankind. He said He came to serve and not be served. Part of the Christmas revolution will be to do the same—to serve my neighbor in love.
That’s the battle plan of the Christmas revolution: give ourselves to one another and join with one another in radical acceptance that manifests in serving one another in love. I’m going to start practicing with my family and extend it out to friends and neighbors. This plan will align us with Bob Cratchit, and his son Tiny Tim, in the “excited-grateful-generous-and-celebratory” view of Christmas. And it will put us squarely in the midst of a joyous Christmas Revolution against the Scrooges of the world.