What Christmas is All About

Note: Today’s devotional is offered as a resource that you can use with your family to help make the most of the Christmas season focus.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” –Luke 2:8-11

One of my favorite Christmas television specials of all-time is A Charlie Brown Christmas. In the cartoon, Charlie Brown wrestles with the true meaning of Christmas in the midst of a world that seems overloaded with commercialism. First appearing in 1965, the issues Charlie Brown grapples with ring just as true today as they did over 50 years ago.

In one scene, Charlie Brown is so frustrated, he yells, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” To answer, Charlie’s friend Linus steps out onto the auditorium stage and recites the Christmas story straight from the Gospel of Luke. It seems so simple. Yet today, many people celebrate the holiday for a lot of reasons, and some have nothing to do with the birth of Christ, like family traditions, a day off from work, a time of gift-giving, Santa Claus, parties and so on. Commercialism and materialism is a part of the fabric of Christmas celebrations in our society. It’s easy to forget that “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
Jesus, to Thee be
all glory given;
Son of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord.
     (from O Come, All Ye Faithful)

Make this one of your best Christmases by choosing to make the birth of Jesus the primary motivation for your celebrations.

GOING DEEPER:
1. What problems did Charlie Brown face in trying to understand the real meaning of Christmas?

2. How does commercialism and materialism detract from the real meaning of Christmas?

3. What can you do this Christmastime to remind yourself of the real meaning of Christmas?

FAMILY TIME:
Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas with your family and use the content above to debrief after the program is over.

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Jim Liebelt

Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has over 35 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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