Christmas with a capital 'C'

Christmas. That blessed time of year when families come together, joy spreads, trees glitter with lights, children anticipate receiving the gifts they’ve been wanting for months, festive cookie recipes come out of the box and songs are sung by voices all over the world.

Christmas. The celebration of Jesus’ birth so many years ago; the start of a life that would radically change the world; the day when we should look to those around us.

Christmas isn’t just a day, though. It’s a season, a feeling, a thought process that brings us to the realisation that we are small parts of a much larger picture. In the middle of the hustle and bustle, shopping, wrapping, giving, sharing, laughing and caring are we focusing on the right part of the season? Where are our hearts?

It’s so easy to see only the ‘commercial’ side of this holiday. Stores go all-out tempting you with decorations, food, gifts and stuff that you don’t actually need. We’re bombarded with glitz and glam, sparkle and dazzle, music and cheers. There’s so much going on that we lose sight of what Christmas is actually about.

As a Christian, I grew up celebrating the joy of Jesus Christ’s birth. Yes, Christmas included pretty lights, special food and gifts, but those were sides to the main reason for celebration. Without this day, the rest of my faith wouldn’t mean anything. Christ had to come to earth as a man to physically die for our sins and that started with His birth.

Then I moved overseas to a country where Christmas seems to have an entirely different meaning. Without American Thanksgiving at the end of November, stores jump right into Christmas shortly after Halloween. They start pushing ads and selling ‘Christmas’ by the middle of November. Thoughts of Santa, sales, presents and decorations bombard you from every direction.

On the surface, Christ has very little presence during Christmas in Ireland. Of all the seasonal cards, maybe two or three will have a nativity or depiction of Christ. So-called advent calendars are nothing more than a calendar with treats inside. You’ll see more flyers for the lighting of the town Christmas lights than for Christmas Eve or Day services. The true meaning of Christmas is becoming more lost with each year and generation.

I’ll readily admit that I get caught up in the show and appearance of Christmas. I’ll go to the tree lighting ceremony. I’ll gush over the twinkle lights at the local coffee shop. I’ll worry about finding that ‘perfect gift’ for my family. Everything around me demands my attention while my Lord and Saviour quietly sits in the background, waiting for me to tune out the noise.

We’re losing sight of the truth. With each new generation, more of the gospel is being lost. Within three generations (if Christ hasn’t returned by then), I wouldn’t be surprised if Christmas is simply a day of gifts, food and family. Christ and His mission on Earth won’t even be remembered. What a sad day it will be when there’s no hope, joy, peace or love associated with this holiday. It will be a commercial holiday of fluff and bother.

Christmas is about Christ. There’s a great song by a group called Go Fish that talks about this very idea. The chorus goes like this:

“It’s called Christmas. What more can I say? It’s about the birth of Christ, and you can’t take that away. You can call it something else, but that’s not what it will be. It’s called Christmas, with a capital ‘C’.” 

It’s as easy as that. No matter what goes on in the stores, no matter how many strings of lights you put up, even if you try to say ‘happy holidays’ instead, the truth remains the same. Christmas is about Christ, and He is the only reason for the season that matters. Let us remember that as we approach Christmas.

Hannah (USA) has been serving as OM Ireland's journalist for two years. A trained writer, she loves sharing stories of people and their God-inspired life moments. She believes that everyone has a story worth telling, and it's a true joy to be the one to tell them.

Share this Resource

Leave a Reply

You might also like:

Church Worker/Planter (Partners for Church Growth) Ireland    Go & Live    As soon as possibleEveryone should have an opportunity to hear the gospel at least once. There is a generation growing up in Ireland which has not heard the gospel. They do not know who Jesus is or what He has done. One of the greatest needs in Ireland is more Bible-believing churches. We need evangelists, disciplers, church planters, youth and children’s workers to partner with small churches and church plant endeavours. You will need a God given passion for the lost and desire to work in partnership with others.
Full Details
Communications and Marketing Worker Ireland    Go & Live    As soon as possibleShare the story of what God is doing in Ireland and the world and effectively implement our strategies to do this well within our context. Use your own creative skills, and build relationships with others, as you help to create a clear and inspiring online and offline presence. Use your gifts and talents to inspire and encourage people to become involved in God's work!
Full Details
Vehicle Fleet Coordinator/Mechanic Ireland    Go & Live    As soon as possibleWill you be the Vehicle Fleet Coordinator/Mechanic to look after our fleet of 20 plus vehicles? You will be responsible for the regular maintenance of the fleet as well as any associated paper work (such as insurances, and scheduling repairs). If you have mechanic experience, have practical and organizational skills, and pleasant and effective people skills, we would love for you to be part of our team.
All OM staff secure their own funding by private donations.

Full Details
HR Director (Manager) Ireland    Go & Live    As soon as possibleCome lead the HR Department as they mobilise, process, send and receive people and provide care to enable a stable and growing missions force to accomplish OM's mission.
Full Details
Finance Manager Ireland    Go & Live    As soon as possibleUse your financial management skills toward the purpose of seeing vibrant communities of Jesus followers established among the least reached. This important role is vital to ministry on the field. You would provide accountability for the cash transactions conducted on the field and perform duties to assist with accounting functions pertaining to bank accounts, budgets, journal entries, financial reporting and administrative changes, guided by precedent and guidelines of established policies.
Full Details
IT Administrator Ireland    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAs our IT Administrator you’ll be assisting the IT Coordinator in a multifaceted range of responsibilities. You will be managing the email network, provide MS Office help desk and other user support, provide network maintenance and support to a multinational team and system administration with Linux-server, Windows 7 and  10.
Full Details
REACH Ireland Leader Ireland    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you have a passion and experience in missions, mobilising, training and mentoring young adults? We would love people to join the leadership team for REACH Ireland, could this be the right place for you?
Full Details
Missions Mobiliser Ireland    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you enthusiastic about short and long term missions? Is your heart's desire to see more serving internationally? We are looking for someone who enjoys opportunities to share about God’s Kingdom work and excites others to get involved. If you are a recruiter looking to use your gifting in ministry in Ireland please read more!
Full Details
Internships in Ireland Ireland    Go & Live    AnytimeAre you looking for an opportunity to explore your gifting and passions? Or are you a student who wants to practice their vocation in a cross-cultural setting? OM is mobilising young Jesus followers to join our international team and serve and experience ministry in Ireland. We are open to have interns come from 2 weeks to 6 months, or even up to a year! Dates are flexible, although there might be more opportunities to help in other ministries during the spring/summer.
Full Details