Within our culture, Christmas is the most important holiday of the year. Children dream about it. Merchants depend on it. Families plan around it. Businesses focus on it. And on and on we might go.
Now, you may not have noticed that I made no reference to churches. In nineteen ninety six the Barna Research Group did a survey which was commissioned by Lutheran Hour Ministries. The results of that survey confirm that Christmas is becoming a national holiday in America and is losing it's spiritual significance. While almost ninety percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians, only thirty seven percent said the birth of Jesus was the most important aspect of Christmas. A larger group, forty four percent, said that family time was the most important dimension of the Christmas season.
Respondents who were between the ages of eighteen and thirty four were less likely to think that the religious part of the holiday was important. Older Americans were more inclined to say that Christmas is a Holy Day.
It is amazing that the day which is named for the Christ Mass, the day set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus, could become the most materialistic season of the calendar, and little by little, Jesus can be left out of the celebration. While we still sing the carols, many of us really don't know why it is that we are singing Joy to the world.,
I learn from this survey that Christians must work a little harder, in getting out the word about the significance of Christmas. It appears that Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, Frosty the snowman, and the Grinch have conspired to steal Christmas from the Church, and, they are succeeding. I remind you that Christmas is a day and a season when we celebrate that God cares enough about us to provide for our redemption. Jesus was not just a nice man who wanted people to be kind to one another. He was the unique son of God who offered himself as the one who would pay the penalty for our sins. Christmas, Good Friday and Easter are among the three most important days in the Christian calendar. We celebrate the fact that God dwelt among us, full of grace and truth, and it changed human history. It is too important to forget or to ignore. Let's keep Christ in Christmas.Let us pray: Lord, we begin by thanking You for loving us more than we deserve to be loved. Amen.
Our thought for christmas is this: Christmas is about Christ!