Originally published Tuesday, 16 December 2014.
Every Christmas I hear people say the phrase "keep Christ in Christmas." I get the idea. I get the motivation. I get that things are changing in our world and we must continually keep Christ before us.
But, still, I think we are missing the point. It's not about "Keeping Christ in Christmas"; it is about keeping Christ alive in our hearts.
You see, "keeping Christ in Christmas", is about saying Merry Christmas, it's about including the words on cards, it's about ensuring stores acknowledge it and it's about monitoring their display of red and green colors on their signage. It's about making sure people don’t trample the name.
But, by "keeping Christ in Christmas" - we are sometimes led astray. Because even if we speak the words, or see the colors, or witness the tree decorations, we can often altogether miss Christ.
We can focus on the wrong things. It is so easy to do. It is so easy to get distracted by it all. To get lured in by the fanfare. I understand. I do.
But, I don't want to be so concerned with the decorations that I miss the adoration. I don't want to be so annoyed by the word Xmas that I miss the hurting person speaking it. I don't want to be so consumed with others that I miss the one who stands above all others.
Do you know what I mean?
Truly "Keeping Christ in Christmas" transcends formalities and external traditions. People are going to do what they are going to do. But, we have to follow what God wants us to do. And, Christ wants us to be less concerned with others - and more concerned with Him. His purposes. His ways. His gift.
The more concerned we are with Him, the more like Him we become. We become living testimonies and sacrifices who project the image of Christ. We become ones who will give it all to love another. We become the greatest gift to people in need.
This is Christmas.
We no longer need lights adorned outside our house or stores, because we become the shining lights.
When Christ is in us - and we are in him - we portray Christ through Christmas. It's not about "keeping Christ in Christmas" it's about "Keeping Christ in us this Christmas". It's about keeping our passions set on Him.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
Christ is not illustrated through shallow words, colors or decorations.
"...The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Sam. 16:7)
Christ is most exalted through true believers, not trendy decorators.
Christ is best displayed in Christmas, not through colors, words or displays, but through displays of affection towards him and towards his creation.
Let's not keep our eyes on trees and stores, but let's keep our eyes on the one who came as a baby to set the captives free, to extend all grace and to bring all joy.
"Keeping Christ in Christmas" - is less about the external and more about our internal. Our internal beliefs and our reliance on Christ will determine whether Christ really is in Christmas.
"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." (Matt. 5:14)
So, this Christmas let's not stress about "keeping Christ in Christmas", but, instead, let's "Keep Christ in Our Hearts," so we can shine his light throughout the entire Christmas season.