My wife, Lindsey, was trying to work thru a way to say something similar on Facebook without receiving the inevitable slew of comments of people trying to justify how they do just what I said. So I spared Lindsey the hassle and preached a sermon on it instead.
I looked at the choice Joseph had to make at that first Christmas. He had a cultural out. He could’ve put Mary aside, kicked her to the curb and gone about his life. Nobody would have blinked or thought twice since even the Bible said he could have her killed if he wanted.
It was his right. But he put his rights aside, as his adopted Son would do.
Culture whispers in our ears that we have rights. We have a right to own the newest and best toys, cars, and clothes. We have a right to hold a grudge and refuse forgiveness because of what that person did. We have a right, believe it or not, to self-loathe at Christmastime. You can do it via Facebook or, the classic way, via Christmas card pictures.
You know the picture–everyone looks pretty perfect. The kids are well-mannered. Somehow they’re looking at the camera. Culture says you deserve a prettier wife. A better providing husband. Kids who will behave. (We just tried taking a Christmas picture. Disaster. Plain and simple).
Culture offers us any number of alternatives to Christmas. And if you’re going to take those alternatives, at least be honest about it. Don’t say “Jesus is the reason for the season” if you don’t mean it.
If he’s your reason to buy exorbitant amounts of gifts, spending money you don’t have, and overeat, well…Jesus isn’t the reason for that.
So how will you keep the focus on this baby who came to die? This baby born in a borrowed manger and buried in a borrowed tomb…