I have a friend who is a Christian, but he doesn’t celebrate Christmas. No Christmas trees, no gifts, no Christmas carols! He is so sick and tired of the way in which Christmas has been commercialized that as far as he’s concerned, he wants nothing to do with it!
There’s a part of me that sympathizes with him. You know, I’ve been to Europe, for example; and there you can go to the “Christ-Mart,” the Christmas market. And of course, it’s wonderful to walk around and sip some apple cider and see all of the things that are available. But if you were to stop and ask people what Christmas is about, they would see it as a celebration. Few of them would understand that it had something to do with Jesus, and even fewer would understand that it had to do with redemption. It has been commercialized. So I understand.
So my question to you today is, how do we redeem Christmas from Christmas? I think we can take a note from the Wise Men. The Bible says that when they came into the house—and of course at that time Jesus was over a year old, almost certainly—they came into the house and the first thing they did is they fell down and they worshipped Him. They worshipped Him—that’s the way to redeem Christmas—and then the Bible says they opened their treasures and they gave him gifts: gold, silver, Frankincense, myrrh.
Now, my friend, we have that opportunity today. You say, “Pastor Lutzer, we can’t give gifts to Jesus.” Oh, yes we can! He said these words: “If you give them to My brothers and My sisters, you have given those gifts to Me.” And Jesus said, “Whoever I send in My name, if you received them in My name, you’re receiving Me!” What a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas, to give gifts recognizing that we’re giving them in the name of Jesus.
And then the Wise Men returned home by another way because they were warned of God in a dream, and they were now in unfamiliar territory. They were taking a new route. And that’s what we’re going to do at the first of the year, isn’t it? We’re going to be going on a road that we have never traveled before. But if we worship, if we give in the name of Jesus, and if we obey, I think we can redeem Christmas from Christmas.
Let’s do that, for the glory of God.