What if we forgot Christmas? What if the busyness of the fall season, the kid’s sports schedules, the Thanksgiving Holiday and the coming New Year’s celebration was so overwhelming that we simply forgot to have Christmas. What if the 25th of December came and went as any other day? What if we never sang a Christmas song, never gave a gift and simply forgot to enjoy those special Christmas recipes? I know it sounds ridiculous but what if Christmas passed without anyone remembering?
I believe there are several reasons why an absurdity of this magnitude is impossible. I am quite sure the merchants would not let us forget Christmas. Certainly our children would never let us forget Christmas. Even our own memories and nostalgia would inevitably awaken us before Christmas passed.
But are we forgetting Christmas? We are if we forget the following.
We must not forget the Poor
Christmas must never pass without our awareness and care for the less fortunate. The story of the nativity is God identifying with the lowly. Bonhoeffer said it well. “At the manger thrones shake, the mighty fall, the prominent perish, because God is with the lowly.” Mary a maid, sits in prominence at the manger, humble shepherds are the first to be invited to see the child and a simple carpenter is asked to mentor the young Messiah. If we forget the poor we are forgetting Christmas!
We must not forget our Future
Christmas is a gift from God that made our futures bright! Now Christmas is a festive, gift-giving season. It is easy to get caught up “in the moment” and spend money that we will have to re-pay in the coming year. People do all sorts of foolish things in order to buy gifts. Payday loans, credit cards and borrowing from ourselves are all ways we forget the future. Let us not forget that January is coming. If we forget our future we are forgetting Christmas.
We must not forget the Hurting
As a pastor I have witnessed that for many Christmas is a time of great pain and sadness. For some this is the first Christmas without a loved one, another finds themselves alone without their children or family. The pain of loneliness, loss and brokenness is extra poignant during the Holidays. Let us not forget the hurting, lest we forget Christmas.
We must not forget the Reason
What really makes Christmas special is that in that stable, God became man! You see Christmas is much more than a sweet story of the birth of a founder of a religion, it is a centuries old promise made by God almighty to send a deliverer for our sins. That which God promised, that which the Prophets foretold, that which the angels declared was realized that first Christmas night, the Savior of the world was born! If we forget to worship, experience and share Jesus, then we have forgotten Christmas.
I admit there are some things about Christmas we should forget. Figgy pudding? Fruitcake? Long shopping lines, for sure! But let us never forget the poor, our future, the hurting or the true reason for the season, Jesus Christ!