Christmas takes on many different meanings to different people. For many children and, unfortunately, some adults, Christmas is a selfish holiday. They focus on what they want and how they can make sure they get it. On the flip side, many parents and grandparents make Christmas all about the children, working to ensure that they get all of the gifts they could ever want.
For the many non-Christians that celebrate Christmas, while they spend their time talking about Santa Claus instead of Jesus, the focus is on making people happy. Sometimes it is family, sometimes friends, and sometimes good deeds for the less fortunate.
Many Christians, on the other hand, try to keep Christmas old school and focus on the birth of Jesus. While there are some disagreements about how much to include secular traditions in our celebrations, we all agree that Jesus deserves to be the center of attention. It is His birthday, after all.
But how do you think Jesus, Himself, would celebrate? Based on His teachings, I believe that the answer is pretty clear.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13 NLT)
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. (John 13:34 NLT)
And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matthew 25:40 NLT)
I believe that, while He would spend all of His time doing it, Jesus would make a special effort to celebrate His birthday by loving people. He would make sure that everyone celebrating His birth feels His love. He would meet their needs and wrap them in His loving comfort.
Since our goal as Christians is to be as much like Jesus as possible, why is it that we don’t spend more time celebrating His birth by loving one another? Sure, we send cards and occasionally exchange gifts. But how can we claim to love God if we are not meeting the needs of our fellow Christians? How can we celebrate Christ if we are not obeying Him by taking care of “the least of” our brothers and sisters?
We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters. (1 John 4:19-21 NLT)
Let’s all focus on fulfilling this command this Christmas season by showing the love of Christ to our fellow Christians that need it the most. And yes, that includes doing so on Black Friday.