Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Is for Those Who Hate It Most

Matt B. Redmond has written what I consider a significant article by the same title I named this article. I encourage you to go read it.

The reason I say it's a significant is because of the reason for Christmas. I know we say that Jesus is the reason for the season. This is true. It's a bit more thoughtful to point to the gospel and recognize that the incarnation of Christ is central to the gospel. But Christ Himself said that "[He] came not to call the righteous but sinners" (Mark 2:7). It is the righteous who seem to know best the meaning of Christmas.

But we all know that the Holiday season is a time of great sorrow for many. They aren't sorrowful because of the celebration of the coming of Christ. They are sorrowful because particular needs are made poignant by the excess of commercial celebration that fails to assuage the ills of this world. These people have no particular love for the season of Christmas. Yet it is precisely for these people that Christ came.

From Matt Redmond's article, a list of people for whom Christ came:

Jesus’ first recorded worshipers were not of the beautiful class. They were poor, ugly shepherds, beat down by life and labor. They had been looked down on over many a nose.

  • Jesus came for those who look in the mirror and see ugliness.
  • Jesus came for daughters whose fathers never told them they were beautiful.
  • Christmas is for those who go to “wing night” alone.
  • Christmas is for those whose lives have been wrecked by cancer, and the thought of another Christmas seems like an impossible dream.
  • Christmas is for those who would be nothing but lonely if not for social media.
  • Christmas is for those whose marriages have careened against the retaining wall and are threatening to flip over the edge.
  • Christmas is for the son whose father keeps giving him hunting gear when he wants art materials.
  • Christmas is for smokers who cannot quit even in the face of a death sentence.
  • Christmas is for prostitutes, adulterers, and porn stars who long for love in every wrong place.
  • Christmas is for college students who are sitting in the midst of the family and already cannot wait to get out for another drink.
  • Christmas is for those who traffic in failed dreams.
  • Christmas is for those who have squandered the family name and fortune—they want “home” but cannot imagine a gracious reception.
  • Christmas is for parents watching their children’s marriage fall into disarray.

We celebrate with gifts, and such bear the mark of Christmas in that Christ is the greatest gift. However, Christmas gifts with no message of the coming of Christ are given in vain. Give a gift of hope this season to someone who really needs it - someone who may not be particularly comfortable to be around because of their lowly state. But it is for such as these that Christ came.

...and read the whole article.

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