As the holiday season has begun and the shoppers are out in force we must be careful not to forget the reason for the season.
The secular world has already x-ed Christ out of Christmas and replaced Him with good ole’ St. Nick.
Now, the church must be careful in their direction also.
Many have already turned Christianity into Churchianity by placing their doctrines and traditions above Christ.
Churchianity offers the church as the answer to our social ills.
Churchianity offers the church as the way to salvation.
The church must now be careful not to replace Christmas with Churchmas.
I say this because it seems to me that many churches use the holiday season as a spring board for the church.
The focus of attention is the church not the Christ.
Yes, there are the programs, the dinners and the social celebrations.
But what is the reason for it all? Is it to advance the name of the church or to make Jesus Christ known?
Around 3,400 years ago a man named Moses penned God’s words in Deuteronomy 18:18-19, “I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will tell that prophet what to say, and he will tell the people everything I command him. I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf.”
This was the prophecy of Jesus coming in flesh to our world.
But I want you to notice what God’s Word says.
He, God, will deal personally with anyone who will not listen to Jesus’ message.
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
The reason we celebrate Christmas is all about Christ.
Christ is the reason for the season.
We in the church must not lose focus upon the Christ.
We can become so competitive amongst ourselves trying to draw people to our churches that we forget that we are leading people to Jesus Christ not to the door of our fellowship.
We must be cautious to make sure people know Christ and not just the ways of the church.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10-11, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
Have we lost our focus?
Are we celebrating Churchmas or Christmas this year?
It’s time to quit blaming the secular world for omitting Christ from Christmas when we can get caught up doing the same thing.
Merry CHRISTmas to all!
Pastor Thomas R. swain,
First Church of God,