One great challenge that Christians face every Christmas is keeping Christ at the Center. Every year, we enthusiastically resolve to observe the season of Advent in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Advent is the season to celebrate the coming of Christ, which in turn is an opportunity to rejoice that He has already come. While many people in our increasingly post-Christian culture no longer celebrate Christmas for the birth of a Savior, or are even aware that is what Christmas is celebrating, you would be surprised how few of us in the church take time to intentionally meditate on this true meaning and prepare ourselves for hopeful remembrance.
Instead, we give much time to buying gifts for people, but not to committing ourselves to receive God’s greatest gift to each of us, his own son. We may attend many annual Christmas parties and celebrations with friends and coworkers, but forget to celebrate that the good news announcement of a Savior born in the City of David is a reason for great joy for each of us (Luke 2:10). We even experience a massive spike in people who will suffer with loneliness and depression, despite the fact that the message of Jesus birth was that God is with us, so we are not alone (Matthew 1:23).
The Bible declares Jesus to be at the center of the universe, center of history, and at the center of all that the Bible says. The Old Testament book of Zechariah is one of the most Christocentric books of the Bible. This book is a good example because it speaks of Jesus Christ’s humanity (6:12), His humility (9:9), His betrayal (11:12), His deity (12:8), His crucifixion (12:10), His return (14:4), and His future reign (14:8-21). The book of Zechariah should encourage us to look for more Christ-centered truths – both in other parts of the Bible and in all life itself.
We must make an effort to stay focused on Jesus and not get distracted by all of the sights and sounds of worldly traditions that have become such a part of the Christmas celebration. So perhaps this year, you might consider intentionally remembering and anticipating that this wonderful time of the year is a celebration of a person: God in human form, dwelling amongst his people, bringing hope and shining a great light in the darkness. God with us.