Has the true meaning of Christmas been lost in these modern times?
Yes and no. On one hand, one of our Prime Ministers has said, “Christmas is a time to gather with family and friends, and to look back with gratitude, and to look forward with hope.” That’s about as bland as baby food. The Queen, on the other hand, once said, “Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.” I love it. In spite of her age, she’s as sharp as a tack.
If Christmas is just a time where we trade stories about good cheer, human kindness, little elves and larger Santa’s, then, yes, we have lost the true meaning of Christmas.
But not if it’s a time when we look beyond ourselves, to what only God can do and has done in Jesus Christ. Christmas can only be understood as we also consider Easter. The one born in Bethlehem also dies on Golgotha, bringing God’s victory over sin, Satan and death.
The old carol says it well:
Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing. (3x)
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found (3x)