Another Christmas Season has passed.

Once again, some Christians found it meaningful, others found it dreadful, still others found it stale.

Here are some suggestions to my fellow Christians on how they can have a better Christmas next year.

1. Stop complaining about how non-believers celebrate the holidays.

Many American Christians are furious about how “the culture” is treating Christmas.  They believe that there is a “war on Christmas.” And they are ready to fight!

That response is way off.  If people do not believe the incredible claims of Christmas, then they should not celebrate Christmas they way that believers celebrate Christmas.  Our anger will not lead anyone to believe in the incarnation.

We would do better to evaluate ourselves on how we respond to Christmas than to critique those outside the faith.

2. Dive into the wonder of the Incarnation.

Many churches act like it is not enough to talk about the birth of Jesus. They mention the birth, and then fast forward 33 years to the death of Jesus. Their assumption is that the cross is the real story and the manger is just background.

I certainly affirm importance of the death (and resurrection!) of Jesus. However, the incarnation is also a marvelous and crucial part of the story.The fact that we do not see it’s value reveals our shallow theological understanding.

We dare not gloss over the birth of Jesus, or we will miss the  riches of Christmas for life.

3. Live out the story of the Incarnation.

While remembering the pregnancy and birth narratives,  keep in mind that memorizing data is not the point. We are called into this story. We can live our lives in light of Christmas.

The story of the incarnation brings out some wonderful new realities for us to take part in: God with Us, Peace on Earth, Giving of Self, Giving to the Needy, Joy for All, Glory to God … (Do I need to continue!).

Our Christmas experience will be richer as we align our lives with these truths.

Resources

To learn more about joining the Christmas story check out the Advent Conspiracy.

Byron Borger lists several resources on faithful Christmas living at Hearts and Mind Books.

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