“Those who cherish worthless idols abandon their faithful love, but as for me, I will sacrifice to you with a voice of thanksgiving. I will fulfill what I have vowed. Salvation belongs to the Lord.” (Jonah 2:8-9; CSB)
Advent has begun; the Christmas season is here. There is no shortage of idols during this time. An idol is something that recieves more importance than the Christ that we should be focused on. And lest you are hopeful that this is an article against Santa Claus there are much deeper issues at stake for Christians. Christians can be so consumed over the politicised jargon of “Merry Christmas” as opposed to “Happy Holidays” that they find themselves arguing over a statement and not sacrificing to God with a “voice of thanksgiving.” Xmas becomes anathema and a line drawn in the sand of American cultural Christian correctness. (X is the first letter in the Greek word for Christ, Christos. Xmas is not taking Christ out of Christmas.) Let’s look at the idols that Christians should address.
One of the great idols of the Christmas season is the idol of happiness. The lights and decorations that adorn the Christmas tree are expected to produce happiness. The gifts that are exchanged are meant to bring happiness. We want Christmas to be happy replete with Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. The pursuit of happiness is not a biblical Christian directive. However, being thankful is, and thankfulness produces joy. Our focus should be upon the arrival of Jesus. We seek fulfillment and joy in the Christ child.
“Suddenly there was a great multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!” (Luke 2:13-14; CSB)
We need to be careful of another idol and potential trap, the idol of family. “Christmas just won’t be the same without Mom.” “Did you hear Sam and his family can’t make it this year for Christmas? It’ll ruin Christmas Eve.” The old worn out phrase “Jesus is the reason for the season” could be applied here. Our families aren’t the reason for the season and our joy should not depend upon them. It is wonderful to be surrounded by our loved ones but it isn’t the purpose of our Christmas celebrations.
Christmas has been romanticized with snow and families, lights and trees, and warm fuzzies of all descriptions. Let us not abandon our faithful love and cherish worthless idols this Christmas season. Jesus has come! We are His thankful people!