My devotion today is actually going to focus on a quote by the theologian C.S. Lewis.
C.S. Lewis speaking of Christmas:
"Three things go by the name of Christmas.
One is a religious festival. This is important and obligatory for Christians; but as it can be of no interest to anyone else, I shall naturally say no more about it here.
The second (it has complex historical connections with the first, but we needn’t go into them) is a popular holiday, an occasion for merry-making and hospitality. If it were my business to have a ‘view’ on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It is highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs.
But the third thing called Christmas is unfortunately everyone’s business. I mean of course the commercial racket. The interchange of presents was a very small ingredient in the older English festivity. Mr. Pickwick took a cod with him to Dingley Dell; the reformed Scrooge ordered a turkey for his clerk; lovers sent love gifts; toys and fruit were given to children. But the idea that not only all friends but even all acquaintances should give one another presents, or at least send one another cards, is quite modern and has been forced upon us by the shopkeepers.
- From “What Christmas Means to Me” in God in the Dock
So, the other day I went to pick up my wife's check and I was talking to the woman I was picking it up from. I ask her “So did you have a Merry Christmas?”, and she said ah yes but I'm glad its over.
That struck me as kind-of odd but then I realized that a lot of times I've felt the same way about Christmas.
It's easy to get caught up in all the trappings and all the other stuff like Lewis talks about here. I have to get this person a gift or I have to spend this much on this persons gift or look at all the lights, listen to all the songs... Is it ok to play Christmas songs before thanksgiving? How long after Christmas do we play Christmas songs?
Some say well, that's not what Christmas is all about; we need to focus on Jesus... And that's true! But the honesty is if you look at the story of Christmas in the Gospels all of those things were there; the lights were there, the wise men followed a star that supernaturally was there. They brought gifts... And there were songs; you know the angels appeared to shepherds and sang and told them to go and to see this new born king.
And so I think if we're stuck on this like C.S. Lewis was... Don't let it cause us to miss Christmas. Focus on that babe in the manger and let the lights, the presents and the music lead you to him and only him.
Devotion by Dwayne Douglas December 2018