What if on December 25th you woke up to no Christmas tree, no gifts, no tamales nor menudo? What if you woke up to no Christmas? What would life be like without Christmas?
Like Ebenezer Scrooge, we often forget the true meaning of Christmas and embody the opposite of what Christmas means. And like Scrooge, we often need visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come to remind us what Christmas means. For the Christian, however, it is not ghosts of Christmas but the Holy Ghost of God that reminds us what Christmas is all about. For the Christian, December 25th is not about celebrating a holiday, but celebrating the birth of a person—the King.
While many are demanding we go from a merry Christmas to a happy holiday, even Christians often do not embody the true meaning of why we come together and celebrate because we get caught up with the giving, gifting, and eating. Unlike A Christmas Carol, Christmas is more than just kindness, generosity, and compassion. It is about celebrating the miraculous birth of the coming King. A life without Christmas is a life with neither the truth of a virgin birth nor the blood of a belittled King to wash away our sins. A life without Christmas is a life without hope, peace, joy, or good news.
Life without Christmas is a hopeless life. It is during Christmas that we recall and celebrate the birth of the heir to David’s throne. Without it, there would be no hope of a coming King, no hope of a savior who will wipe away tears, and no hope of a coming kingdom where we enjoy the presence of God forevermore.
Life without Christmas is a life of war with God. Isaiah says, “And he will be called…Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7). Jesus became our sin on the cross, and with his blood God signs the peace treaty with us and those who place their faith in Christ. Without Christmas, the Prince is not born and we remain hostile towards God. We remain his enemies. Christmas is the celebration of the friendship that God initiated with us through the birth of the savior and the declaration of everlasting peace with Him.
Life without Christmas is a life of everlasting restlessness. Augustine says that man’s heart is restless until it finds its rest in God. Without the birth of Christ, the only all-consuming, satisfying being remains distant from us, leaving our hearts restless and in pursuit of unsatisfying things. Luke 2:10 says, “And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’”
Ultimately, life without Christmas is a life with bad news. The birth of Christ is the proclamation of the messiah coming to save people from their sins (Matthew 1:18-25)—the greatest news of all! But, if Christmas is removed from us, it is a hell-bound sprint. No Christmas means no forgiveness of sins. No Christmas means there was no perfect man to live the perfect life for us—no unblemished lamb.
At the end of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge is transformed from the bitter old miser to a gentler, kinder man. Like Scrooge, when the eyes of our heart are opened to the true meaning of Christmas, we t00 should be transformed to embody the true meaning of Christmas—hope, peace, joy—and become those who embrace the good news of the incarnation of God for sinners like me and you.