[Eric is the evangelist of the Hamburg Pike Church of Christ in Jeffersonville, Indiana.]
Most Americans love the Christmas season. They look forward to all the sights, sounds and smells it has to offer. Some people go all out. Decorations go up on November 1 and don’t come down until Valentine’s Day. They wear festive clothes everywhere and see ugly sweaters as beautiful. And the uglier, the better. They can listen to Christmas songs 24/7. On the day itself they soak up every moment. With all this holiday cheer, why can’t every day be Christmas?
I’m not talking about Christmas as a Christian holy day; the New Testament authorizes no official holiday (Rom. 14:5-6). But why can’t every day be Christmas in personal attitude and actions? Perhaps you have asked that question. You know what I’m talking about. Most people act differently this time of year. Perhaps you do, too. In what ways?
Every day should be Christmas in the way we treat people. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that everybody is nicer at Christmas. You might get away with being grumpy the rest of the year, but you will be called out as a grinch in November and December. Even during World War I, German and British soldiers met on the battlefield in a truce on Christmas Day only to resume killing each other the next day.
To please God, Christians have no choice but to be kind, patient and forgiving (Col. 3:12); encouraging (2 Cor. 1:3-4); loving to all, even to our enemies (1 John 4:7; Matt. 5:44) and peaceable (Rom. 12:18; Jas. 3:18). Everyone is nice during Christmas. Why can’t every day be Christmas?
Every day should be Christmas in the way we make time for loved ones. Mid December arrives and suddenly most people want time off. They want to spend time with loved ones. Most businesses close on Christmas Day and others take a week or more off.
Many people suffer from depression and commit suicide because during the Christmas season, they feel alone (Eccles. 4:9-12). God created humans as social creatures that need companionship (Gen. 2:18). God created the family for that reason. Family time should be high on the list of priorities throughout the year, especially when it comes to assembling with God’s family, the church, every week. Everyone prioritizes family during Christmas. Why can’t every day be Christmas?
Every day should be Christmas in the way we give. Christmastime is a season of giving. It is a great time to teach our children to be givers. Remember the words of Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Perhaps you know people who live to give gifts to everyone they know, not just friends and family, but also to coworkers, classmates and next-door neighbors. People give more time and money for charities this time of year. There are toy drives and coat drives. And even those who are not ordinarily generous become so.
But why can’t we be givers year-round? Christians should be experts at giving and not just on Sundays. By giving, we reflect the heart of our first Love (Jas. 1:5, 17). We also follow the example of our first brothers and sisters who were generous to the needy (Acts 4:34-35). Giving expresses genuine love (1 John 3:16-17). Everyone is generous at Christmas. Why can’t every day be Christmas?
Above all else, every day should be Christmas in the way we focus on Jesus. At Christmas most people are focused on Jesus. Many people repeat the cliché, “Jesus is the reason for the season” or “keep Christ in Christmas” in protest of the commercialization of Christmas. On the radio, we hear “Silent Night,” “O Holy Night,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Live manger scenes are popular. Everyone is talking about Jesus, all the time. Even atheists are busy talking about someone they don’t believe exists.
Of course, we do not know when He was born. We are not told the specific year, let alone the specific day. However, we should understand that focusing on any aspect of Jesus any time of year is a good thing. If people give Him the spotlight this time of year, He certainly deserves the attention. If His birth is what it takes to get people to do that, let’s welcome it. We can then seize the opportunity to meet people where they are (think Paul at Mars Hill (Acts 17)). In our God-denying, increasingly anti-Christian culture, I’ll take what I can get to talk more about Him, even if His birth is the starting point.
Let’s speak the truth in love. Here is one way to do it. Introduce this simple thought to a neighbor to consider: Why can’t every day be Christmas? Why can’t Jesus get this attention every day, year-round? How do you think God wants us to honor His Son beyond the manger? Would you like to explore more in a Bible study?
Let me challenge you to make every day Christmas. Use this special time as an opportunity to lead someone to the truth that Jesus is the reason for every season. To get people talking about Him every day is a good thing. After all, He’s good news!