Merry Christmas to All

by Dale Reeves

Story Pastor


Have you seen any of the six episodes in the new Disney+ series, “The Santa Clauses” this month? Actor Tim Allen, at 69 years old, reprises his role as Scott Calvin in this new series after previously starring in three “The Santa Clause” films from 1994 through 2006. An outspoken conservative who has had no problems sharing his views, Tim is no stranger to debate. Some of the controversy this year centered around a line his character uttered in saying, “Merry Christmas to all,” as opposed to the more culturally accepted, “Happy Holidays.”


As an executive producer of the series this time, Allen spoke out about some elements he didn’t want to include in the episodes. He says, “Originally, it had a lot of otherworldly characters, and ghosts, and goblins. I said, ‘No, this is Christ-mas. It’s Christ-mas. It literally is a religious holiday. We don’t have to blow trumpets, but I do want to acknowledge that’s what this is about. If you want to get into Santa Claus, you’re gonna have to go back to history, and it’s all about religion.’”


I don’t want to offer any spoiler alerts today, but I loved the way the series reaches back into history for a deeper meaning of why Santa is all about giving gifts to others. In an interview with TV host Kelly Clarkson, Allen said:


“The heart of Christmas is about giving. Getting is what we’ve gotten used to . . . but the whole thing is about what it’s like to give. Give as a father to his children. . . . It is so magic.”


God Loved, God Gave

Yes, those words were spoken by a Hollywood actor, but they sound like words that could have come from the pages of the Bible. The heart of Christmas is about giving. John 3:16. The most quoted Bible verse of all time. At its core, the message of Christmas, the incarnation of Jesus Christ leaving Heaven to come and walk on the Earth as a man, is about the fact that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (emphasis mine).


God loved. He gave. We love. We give. And what better time to do that than during this season? What are you doing to give away the good news of the Messiah’s birth to those yet to receive him? What an opportunity we have this season to demonstrate his grace and truth to others, to introduce others to him so that he can demonstrate his glory to them! He became flesh and blood for that very purpose—to demonstrate his glory among us. After his birth, the great company of angelic hosts announced to the lowly shepherds on the Bethlehem hillside, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14, NIV).


The Greek word for “glory,” doxadzo, used in the New Testament, conveys a sense of brilliance or radiance. In the Bible the word is used most often to describe the brilliance of those who participate in the heavenly glory. God is the source of all glory and no one can receive it apart from him. We give glory to him by speaking forth his truth, walking with him in such a way that others can see Christlike attitudes in us, as we reflect the radiance of Christ.


Seize the Opportunity

What would it look like for you this season to radiate his glory to others around you? What would it look like for you to do God’s will in your life in such a way that people would see Jesus shining in you? In the midst of all the preparations for Christmas this year, the decorating, the eating, the catching up with friends and family, let’s make sure that we are most prepared to receive Jesus’ gifts to us, and then pass those on to others. What difference should our lives make to others in our homes, schools, and workplaces?


As we move into the last week in preparation for Christmas Day, can I offer up a challenge for you? This season will you care a lot less about things and a lot more about people? Will you commit to caring a lot less about the gifts that you will receive and a lot more about the gifts that you will give?


Author, speaker, and church planter Carey Nieuwhof challenges us to take advantage of this season of the year to share Christ with others. He says, “As our culture becomes more and more post-Christian, we’re seeing far fewer times when the holidays of the church and the holidays of culture sync. . . . Our culture still loves Christmas. It is the only time of year when you’ll hear people belt out explicitly Christian songs like ‘Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.’ . . . If you follow a lot of Christians on social media leading up to Christmas, you probably have noticed how many people lament over the culture’s disregard of Christ. You can see the obstacle. Or you can see the opportunity. Our culture pauses for Christmas in a way it pauses for little else in the year. On December 24th and 25th, the Western world comes as close to stopping as it ever does.”


Did you know that 82% of people would come to church if a trusted friend invited them? Yet in a typical year, only 2% of Christians invite a friend to church. Heartbreaking. Who are you inviting to come with you to one of our Christmas Eve services this year, at either our Family Service at 4:00 pm that will feature a children’s choir, or our Classic Service at 6:00 pm? This Christmas season could begin a journey for people you know that would lead them to a life-changing surrender to Christ. The opportunity is there. The time is now!

(Click below image to view more details about Christmas Eve Service.)

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