Many people love the many symbols of Christmas, such as Christmas trees, holly, lights, candles, and Santa Claus. Other people hate the symbols and believe that Christmas is just a reason to make people spend more money at the stores. Neither side seems to understand the real meaning of Christmas.
I remember the first time God spoke to me, when He began to teach me to hear His voice. It was just before Christmas and everyone was asking the other person what they would like for Christmas. I really had no idea what I wanted for Christmas, but it started me thinking. I was trying to build a closer relationship with God in my life. So, that night I knelt at my bed to pray, and like a true ding-dong prayed, “Father, I don’t want any physical gifts or presents. This year I want the baptism of the Holy Spirit for my present.” Immediately I heard, “I gave you my Son. Isn’t that enough.” I was amazed that I had heard God’s voice, but that was over-shadowed by the shock of what He had said. I knew immediately what He meant. He was telling me that Christmas is celebrated as the day God gave us the greatest gift in the history of mankind. He had sent His son to bring forgiveness, reconciliation with Himself, and ever-lasting life. And here I was, asking for another Christmas gift. I felt like a fool. I know angels are good people, but I could almost imagine them around the throne of God, laughing at what I had just said.
My mind began to race, trying to find words to explain my words to God so that I wouldn’t look so stupid. Then I realized that He was reading my every thought. I surrendered. I prayed, “I’m sorry Father. Yes, Jesus is enough, for me and for the world.” I then ended my prayer and went into the kitchen. Yes, I know God was there too, but at least I had moved from the place where I had just embarrassed myself.
Perhaps, God used this time to make me aware of His voice. I knew immediately that it was Him, because those words would have never crossed my mind, unless He had said them. He has spoken to me since then, but not as often as I would like, or as often as I have asked. At least I know that I can hear Him and I know His voice when He does speak to me.
I, also, learned that the word Christmas is really two words, Christ Mass. It is a religious celebration of the birth of our Messiah, Jesus Christ. Christmas is not about giving gifts to one another. It is a celebration of the gift that God has given us. We may symbolize His gift to us with gift giving to one another. The Christmas tree -an evergreen tree – symbolizes eternal life, and the Christmas lights may represent the star above Bethlehem that night He was born. Or the lights may represent the light of truth that he brought with him, that allows us to know God’s truth, so that we might be set free.
But symbols of Christmas are not to be loved. It is God that deserves our love. And Christmas is not a time that we are to worship pretty lights and have fist fights on Black Friday. It is a season of love and brotherhood, that should be shared with all people. Remember the reason for the season this year. Merry Christmas