Merry Christmas all!
Really, the preparation and celebration is week-long. The mad dash to the store for last minute shopping, the preparation for the big family Christmas meal, and the wonderful Christmas songs are on the airwaves, and our lips.
Christmas is a very unique time of year. There is joy and anticipation all around. It seems that almost everyone buys into this festive season. In fact, that isn’t a stretch, statistically speaking.
Here are some interesting stats that I have run across in the last few days:
[Courtesy of LifeWay Research]
Here is what I think these stats mean.
- Most Americans celebrate this time of year. Christians, properly for the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Others for family, giving, joy, relaxation, and just simply to be festive.
- This means there is a tremendous opportunity for you to be good neighbors (Matt. 22:39), and to engage with those around you. Seemingly everyone (nominal Christians, agnostics, atheists) is festive, joyous, and embracing this time, and we as the Church, should reach out to others and use this season to lovingly, winsomely point people to the real reason for Christmas – the first coming of Jesus, the fulfillment of God’s long foretold promise of a Redeemer (Gen. 3:15).
- Also, I think the disproportionate number of Christmas Eve attendees compared to weekly church attendees is revealing. It reveals that there seems to be a desire or a driving force within people to, in some sense, celebrate Christmas in a Christian way i.e. the Christmas Eve services Churches have. Whether this is due to a desire for community, a reverence and deep enjoyment for the songs and candlelight services, or a very real sense that something special happened in human history, and now is the time to celebrate that. Whatever it is, an unusual amount of people turn out for these services, and that is a good thing.
So, this Christmas season, love your neighbor, tell them about Jesus. Invite them to your church’s services.
Enjoy God’s grace, the company of family and friends, and rejoice!
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
- Isaiah 9:6-7