The Celebration of Christ
Today as I unpacked our Christmas tree and ornaments, I began thinking about Jesus; His birth and His death. As I placed ornaments on the tree, I thanked Jesus for coming into the womb of Mary and being willing to go through the throes of birth. He arrived fully human and fully divine.
Throughout His life, the hand of God was upon Him and scripture states this:
“For a child has been born for us, a son given us; authority rest upon His shoulders and He is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
As I reflected on the life of Jesus, His ministry for the salvation of mankind; I saw at the end of His lifetime; another tree. This tree was one they called the “execution stake”, where Jesus was placed with huge spikes driven into His wrists and both of His feet, one foot on top of the other.
It seems that humanity has chosen to celebrate His birth with a tree and condemn Him to death hanging from a tree. So, what does all of this mean for you and I? For me, as I sift through my thoughts and feelings about Jesus and come to this season where many celebrate His birth, I realize that He has been forgotten by many as well.
Christmas in many ways has lost its center, it’s focal point. “Santa Claus” showed up and took over a religious celebration and turned it into a horrific holiday of selfishness and greed. No longer do children hear stories on Christmas Eve about the man who was fully human and fully divine; who came to make a way for them to have life eternal. Instead, they have been fed “Santa” and they wait for this “False Idol” to arrive at their homes with every material and secular wish they had on their list. Not only the children, but adults decorate their homes with this “False Idol” Santa Claus, yet claim Jesus as their deity. How can this be so? The line and the boundaries are so blurred regarding Christmas and what it originally stood for that people do not even realize they are worshiping a “False Idol”.
Then my thoughts and my heart, full of grief and mourning over what has happened with this once, religious celebration; return to that other tree.
The tree where Jesus was hanging with spikes driven through His wrists and feet, where his lung was pierced by a sword. Where His head dripped with blood from the 2 inch long wide thorns driven into His scalp. Now my tears are starting to fall down my cheeks, how I wish Jesus never had to suffer this way for one such as I, for such as you. Yet, He agreed to do it. He agreed so that you and I might have life eternal with Him, once we are finished here. What kind of love is this? Have we ever, in the history of the world seen this kind of love in anyone else?
I hope that you will see Jesus and the religious celebration of Christmas through this lens of truth and be forever changed.
Kasey Streichert Burt