This past Sunday morning, our pastor, Randy Starr, preached a eye-opening and interesting message about the Christmas season. Most of us have heard the song I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas that was made famous by Bing Crosby. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with the song or the notion of having a white Christmas, but so often we can get the whole point of Christmas all mixed up. We have a dream of this picture perfect holiday with a cheery family, plenty of brightly wrapped gifts, the annual Christmas concert, lots of feasting, and of course: snow. Generally, that is the attitude that even most Christians have about the season. It’s the “White Christmas” mentality.
But in Pastor’s message, he went through several points of the Christmas story that we all know, and showed us how we can even get caught up with the good Christian celebrations of Christ’s coming, and forget about our relationship with Christ. Why do we have a dream of a “White Christmas” instead of a “Right Christmas?” Before all of the joyous festivities with our friends and family, why not make sure we are right with that baby that–don’t forget this–grew up to be a man who died on the cross for our sins. Jesus was not born so we can celebrate Christmas. Jesus was born because of God’s love for us. He came to die on the cross for us. He came to raise himself up from the tomb. He came to save us.
The first thing we must have in order to have a right Christmas is a true relationship with God. This relationship is impossible without a certain time in our lives when we were born again–a time when we realized we were a sinner, repented of our sin, and accepted Jesus’ free gift of salvation. John 3:7 says, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” It has nothing to do with our works–whether it be communion, baptism, tithing, church attendance, or good deeds (Titus 3:5-Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;). It has everything to do with being born again. Without being born again, it is impossible to have a relationship with God. It is impossible to have a right Christmas.
For us that have been born again and become a Christian, we still can lose the whole thought of having a right Christmas. We get focused on how this person is going to like the gift I got them, or whether a certain family member is going to visit or not, or whether there is going to be snow on the ground on December 25th. We judge how well our Christmas season went by those material things. If any of our “White Christmas” dreams don’t come true, we hang our head low and depress ourselves. If everything happens just how we think it should go, then we walk around everywhere with a huge fake smile on our face.
However, the real question, before any of the “White Christmas” dreams, is rather, are we having a right Christmas. Are we right with God? If we have sin that we are trying to hide from Him, then we are not right. If we are holding a grudge or ill will against anyone, we are not right. Any sin that sits between us and God guarantees us of not having a right Christmas. This Christmas season, try to dream of having a perfect relationship with God, rather than having a “White Christmas.” It would be so much better of a day on December 25th if we were truly right with our Savior–even more so than a foot of snow, a beautiful tree, lots of presents, lots of family, and lots of food. This Christmas, instead of saying, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…”, say, “I’m happy with a right Christmas.” After we can do that, I believe God will give us a lot of those other things too.