Christmas – Joy or Dread?


By Timothy Johnson

Preacher’s Point

On the morning of December 26th, in cities, the suburbs, and out in the country, adults will wake up, sigh with relief and say, “It’s over.” December 25th is passed, and will not come back for another year.

For many people, the dread began on Black Friday. They shop for things only bought this time of year – gifts for people they love but only see a few times a year. Also purchased are presents for people they see daily but do not care for much. Then there are the gifts purchased for those we love and see all the time.

Christmas parties for family and the workplace, church and school programs, and the practices that come with each remove any free space on the calendar. The shopping mentioned in the previous paragraph is also time-consuming. With that said, I can hear readers out there yelling, “Shop online, don’t drive around to the stores.” But after watching my wife spend twelve hours shopping online for the family, I have to wonder if the time saving is significant. Especially when she has a list of six names she still has to buy for when finished.

Many families have a huge Christmas dinner sometime during the month. With conflicting work schedules and distances to travel, just organizing a family get-together can bring hair-pulling frustration. Added food expenses hit the checkbook, and with higher than-normal inflation, this year’s Christmas dinner will either be less of a feast or much more expensive. Depending on the situation, a person could host and attend several of these during December.

A test I took years ago may best get to the point I am trying to make. The test was to determine a person’s stress level. There were one hundred items, and each item was assigned a point value. Divorce was at the top of the list with one hundred points. The death of a loved one was ninety-eight. I was to check each item on the list I had experienced within the last year. Christmas was worth ten points. Living through Christmas is ten percent as stressful as going through a divorce. It is no wonder people wake up on the twenty-sixth and give a sigh of relief.

Christmas should be a time of joy instead of something we “try to get through.”

All of us have broken God’s law. We are all guilty of something. It does not matter how serious you may think your sins are; the truth remains we are all guilty. With guilt comes punishment.

God, in His infinite mercy, grace, and love, decided to take the punishment for us. That is what happened on the cross. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, God in the Flesh, died in our place, taking the punishment for our sins. His blood is the sacrifice for our sins. He is the Lamb of God, the sacrificial Lamb.

Our sinful nature is passed down to us from our biological father. Since God is the only sinless being in the universe, the Son of God is the only one who can perform the Lamb’s duties.

God chose Mary, a virgin, to carry His Son in her womb. As God explained to Joseph, the child Mary was carrying “shall save his people from their sins.” God also explained that the coming child was God in the flesh. Matthew 1:23, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Christmas celebrates the coming of the Saviour. It should be a time of happiness and joy, not a month of prolonged agony and a strain on the bank account. Many have lost the meaning of the day.

Put your faith in what Jesus did on the cross to save your soul, and you will receive salvation. Eternal salvation is not gained by baptism, church attendance, or giving money to the church or the poor. Salvation only comes through the blood of Jesus Christ.

There is a reason the Babe in the manger grows up to be the Man on the cross – the reason is us. He came to save us. Only the Lamb of God is capable of doing so.

Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website:; Email: [email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: All Scripture KJV.

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