It’s another Christmas and as usual, everyone is thrilled. This time, everyone but me.
The generous parade of the green and red colors, buildings enlivened with decor and lightening, ornamented trees and buildings, bland carols with a repertoire of the same old or similar renditions, and yes, Santa Claus, are basic indicators of this once beautiful, now predictable season. “What is new?” I asked myself in a quiet moment of coming clean about how bored and tired I was of the rituals of Christmas when a question popped up in my head; “What would Jesus do on his birthday?” I jerked.
This revelation may come as a shock to many but “Christmas” is not synonymous with “The Holidays”. And no, it’s not the day dedicated to eating chicken, exchanging gifts, showing love, spending time with family or whatever other tradition we have fabricated and upheld over the years. Those traditions are nice but Christmas is simply Jesus’ birthday! So why have we taken it over? Why have we shifted the attention from Him to ourselves?
The problem sure did not start now. As a young girl, I used to love Christmas albeit for the wrong reasons. Back then, Christmas was the season to acquire new clothes, accessories, and toys; stuff our faces with food; and meet financial targets. It was the perfect time to increase our net worth and ink our names on the neighborhood’s imaginary Forbes list by actively participating in what I now call the Christmas food delivery business. Back then, we would gladly volunteer to take food to our neighbors, not because we liked them much but, because the generous ones never returned emptied plates without giving us some money. Having done this business overtime we eventually became picky on what houses we’d like to deliver food to based on our precognition of the denomination our money gift would be. The logic was simple; why deliver to 5 houses and get #100 when you can deliver to one house and get #500? And so whenever Christmas approached we were excited about many exciting things but Christ.
I find it quite ironic that on a day when we ought to remember God’s generous act of selflessness and plunge ourselves into this spirit, we choose to focus, as we do every day, on ourselves and we raise our children to do the same. We simply pay lip service to Jesus but in our deeds, it’s really all about us. The things that capture our hearts are what to wear, what to eat, where to go etc and interestingly the thought of Jesus hardly crosses our minds in all these activities? This should not be. Christmas without the consciousness of Christ is a waste of time and energy.
I do not have all the answers to what Jesus would do on his birthday but I think
- If he held a feast, he’ll leave the invitation open so that strangers can also attend
- If he cooked food, he will take portions only to those who have nothing to eat rather than add to the tables of those who already have more than enough and will likely throw excess away or feed it to dogs.
- If he visited the orphanage or prison, he won’t flood his timeline with pictures because his goal was never the applause or admiration of men
- If he got a new cloth, he will also clothe someone with good clothes
- He will go out of his way to dine with a family or friend going through a tough time and needing encouragement
- If he received, he’ll also give out in response to needs
- If he had dinner with his family, he’ll share a story or two about the kingdom
- If he chose to have drinks with his friends, he’ll intersperse their conversation with words of eternal value
- If he had to work, it will be better works
- If he gave gifts, it won’t be to the deserving alone and it will be good and perfect.
- He will indeed celebrate when a soul is won
Though his birth was about us, his birthday and in fact our everyday should be about Him. Let’s take the attention off ourselves this Christmas and shine the spotlight on Jesus by living out the true essence of Christianity- Christlikeness. Gear up for good works and make every conversation and action about Him. Remember, nevertheless we eat, drink, dance, sing, play, speak, give, receive, visit not unto ourselves but for Christ that was born, crucified and resurrected for us.