We live in what sociologists call a post-Christian society. While the majority of Australians still broadly identify themselves as Christian, Christian belief and adherence to Christian teaching is no longer the dominant force in shaping our values. It is therefore unusual that we cling to Christmas as perhaps the most important date in our calendar. What has shifted is that it has all but ceased to be a Christian event. The odd nativity scene in a shopping centre or Christmas carols that refer to the birth of a saviour are regarded as ‘safe’ traditions that don’t get in the way of the modern message of Christmas: spending time with family, going on holidays and buying gifts. These things are wonderful things but they are an insipid substitute for the joy that God has sent his Son into the world to reconcile us to Himself.
As a Christian community, we need to refocus the meaning of Christmas on Christ. It is important that we are aware that the present cultural message is pervasive when it comes to children. If Christian parents do not engage counter-culturally, then we will allow that message to be the only thing our children hear. A Christ-filled Christmas is the most joyful message imaginable for a hurting world. It is the promise of God’s love for his people and his purpose to bring sin and death to an end. It is the hope of salvation for all who are called by His grace.
My encouragement to you is to ensure that in your family that you look for opportunities to talk to your children, to build traditions and to celebrate Christ this Christmas.
I pray that you will enjoy the Christmas season and until we meet again in 2021; be blessed by our most precious Christmas gift, and then pass on that blessing to those you encounter.