As I reflect on Christmas Day, I see that the mood of the holiday is different this year. From the news reports, it sounds like people are looking for simplicity rather than the latest toys and fads.
Momentum has been building for restoring Christmas to a celebration of Christian faith. The trappings of Christmas have drifted farther and farther from any connection to Jesus, and finally people have had enough. The pendulum had swung so far to commercialism that many are rebelling against excessive spending and partying.
For years I had suggested to friends that we should give gifts at Thanksgiving, so that Christmas could be uncluttered and directed to the worship of Jesus. But something better has happened. Through the work of groups like Advent Conspiracy, Christians are working together to turn Christmas into a time when believers work together to bless the world in the name of Jesus.
Last night at our Christmas eve candlelight service, we received an offering for local and international missions. We are trying to worship more and spend less. Then we can give more and really make a difference in the world. I pray that the world might come to recognize Christmas as a time when the followers of Christ work together to share the love of Jesus. In practical ways we can provide for the needs of the helpless and hurting.
Christmas becomes an exciting time when we make a focused effort to give Jesus to the world.