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Just dropping by ... Remember Christ in Christmas

Yevet Tenney Published on 24 November 2015

The year is coming to a close, leaving in its wake a thousand memories both good and bad. Memories of camping in the mountains with my family, the birth of a new grandchild and time spent with my aging parents.

Weddings, Eagle Courts of Honor, birthdays, graduations, church activities, conversations with loved ones and strangers – memories topple over each other crowding for first place in my list of special times to be remembered. 

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Some memories are lost and slide into the oblivion category, “I know something happened, but I don’t remember what.” I lament the fact that memories stack up and squish out of consciousness to be lost forever.

I often wonder if this squishing-out-memories phenomenon is happening in our Christian world. The never-ending barrage of the media and trivial life events are crowding out the memory of the true meaning of Christmas.

Santa Claus takes the stage shortly after Halloween and doesn’t leave until the enthusiastic little cherub of the new year bounces in and the shaky ancient man of the old year hobbles out.

The department stores are filled with tinsel and the glitter of glass ornaments and Christmas trees. The shelves are lined with gadgets and finery to attract the myriad shoppers who foolishly imagine “that money can purchase the best Christmas ever.”

It’s buy, buy, buy until Christmas Eve, and then the day after Christmas the shopping begins again. Some stores are even open on Christmas for those shoppers who need to get gifts for those unexpected surprise-givers. Everyone knows: If you get a gift, you must reciprocate. That’s how Christmas works. Everyone gives and gives.

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I wonder how Christ feels about His special day being forgotten in the sound of “Silver Bells,” “White Christmas” and “Here Comes Santa Claus.” I am sure He is concerned about nativity scenes being outlawed and replaced with reindeer with red noses and sleighs full of gadgets to attract the minds and hearts of God’s children.

He is deeply concerned about families who spend more time opening gifts than giving homage to the Giver of all Good Gifts. He probably laments when He sees signs and cards that block out His name from Christmas all together. Merry Xmas is all too common. I wonder if He might say, as He did to His disciples:

Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?

They say unto him, Twelve.

And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?

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And they said, Seven.

And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

—Mark 8:18

I am sure He could say in our vernacular, “Don’t you remember that starry night in the stable so long ago? Don’t you remember the child that was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger?

Didn’t an angel announce My coming to the shepherds? Wasn’t the sky filled with heavenly hosts singing ‘Glory to God?’ Didn’t the shepherds come with haste and find Me lying in a manger? Didn’t they go away rejoicing at the wonderful miracle they had witnessed?

“Didn’t the wise men come following My glorious star? Didn’t they find Me and fall down and worship Me bringing Me gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh? Didn’t a prophet proclaim My divinity at My christening? Wasn’t I left in the temple when I was 12 years old to be ‘about My Father’s business?’ Did I not confound the wise men and priests with My wisdom? Did they not see that I was more than a child?

“Don’t you remember I changed water into wine at the wedding feast at the request of My dear mother? Didn’t someone record that the wine was the best of the evening? Don’t you see it was a miracle that no mortal man could perform? How is it that you have forgotten?

“Didn’t I go into the mountains and fast 40 days? Did I not overcome Satan’s ploys and temptations so that I could help you understand, that with My help, you can overcome all things?

“Have you forgotten that I was baptized by John in the River Jordan? Didn’t the Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove, come down from Heaven and light upon My shoulder? Wasn’t it written that My Father spoke from heaven introducing Me as His son?

“How about the blind who received their sight? What about the lame who walked at My command? What about the little girl who was in the sleep of death yet, at My touch, lived again? Don’t you remember Lazarus, who was three days in the tomb, yet he came forth whole? Don’t you remember, I walked upon the water and saved Peter from a watery grave when he started to sink? Don’t you understand that I will do the same for you? I love you just as much.

“Don’t you recall My teachings? ‘Love one another as I have loved you?’ Remember, I taught in parables so that you could understand. Didn’t I tell you about the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son? Didn’t I tell you about the Kingdom of God and teach you how to pray? Didn’t I tell you, ‘All things are possible to those who believe?’

“How could you have forgotten the Sermon on the Mount where I taught you about peacemakers and meekness? I taught you that the pure in heart would see God. Don’t you remember the merciful will obtain mercy? How could you have forgotten?

“Have I become a fable in the minds of your children? Do they remember that I prayed for them in the Garden of Gethsemane? Do they realize I suffered more than any man can suffer? Don’t they know I did it for them? Do you ponder, with sorrow, over the day I was betrayed by My friends and taken to Calvary to be nailed to a cross between two thieves, all for your sakes? Don’t you remember I made it possible for you to live again? I gave you endless life! Oh, My sweet children, how could you have forgotten?

“Was not the stone rolled away? Didn’t an angel say, “He is not here? He is risen?” Did I not come back and visit with My disciples? Didn’t I ask Peter three times to feed My sheep? Didn’t he do it? Didn’t he die for My cause along with others of My disciples? Wasn’t My book given to you by the hands of martyrs who gave every breath for My sake? Was it not passed down for you to read? How is it that you have not read? How is it that you do not understand the importance?

“The celebration of My birthday is filled with buying, selling, giving and getting. Am I incrementally being replaced by a bearded man in a red suit carrying bags of trinkets? Am I being forgotten in the hustle and bustle of a season of materialistic madness? Am I to be forgotten in the mandates of a government that has lost sight of the Kingdom of God? Am I to be lost forever? Is My sacrifice to be for nothing?”

I can imagine Jesus shedding tears of sorrow for those who have forgotten Him on His special day. He knows that happiness and true joy are not found in trinkets that will perish with time, but in Him and the gifts that He has given.

Some have not forgotten His wonderful gifts. Some still tell the “old and hallowed story.” They go against the grain of the politically correct and put up their nativity scenes anyway.

Some still say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” They still buy and send Christmas cards instead of Xmas cards. They still teach their children about Christ and His glorious mission on this earth. I am sure Christ rejoices over everyone who remembers Him on His birthday.

We must not forget Christ on Christmas, and we must teach our children never to forget. Christ must be the focus not only of our Christmas season, but the focus of our daily life. He truly is “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” He is our only hope for the future. He is our Savior and Redeemer on whom all civilization rests.  PD

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