“Canned” Happiness and Christmas

“Canned” Happiness and Christmas

I am up to my neck with canned happiness!   Americans at Christmas pursue happiness at a fevered pitch, but to what purpose?   The affirmation of family, the exchanging of gifts, and benevolence to charity are all good things, but can leave you empty inside without a deeper purpose.

The Christmas event is the one fact of history that brings hope.  “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).  God invaded the world and now the devil does his best to divert attention from the stable (see Matt. 2:13-23), the cross (Matt. 27:35-50), and the empty tomb (Matt. 28:1-6).

Satan’s diversion tactics are multi-faceted this time of year.  Merchants dazzle us with deals for gift-giving and we allow ourselves to become distracted from the Gift-giver.  People sue cities to remove distinctly Christian symbols from the city hall.  The world tries to manufacture “canned” happiness so that people will swallow it and be filled on the “cotton candy” instead of the Bread of Life–Jesus.   It takes a choice to keep Jesus as the center of Christmas.

Christmas is a celebration of an unspeakably wonderful gift—Jesus Christ, who as the Son of Man and God the Son, did the Father’s bidding by taking on flesh so that he could redeem the crown jewel of God’s creation, us – all the people of the world.   Indeed, how great our joy!  We give gifts to commemorate the Gift that God gave.  We celebrate the fact of God’s invasion of enemy-occupied territory by decorating our homes with light.

This month, whether you are in Wal-Mart, the mall, or stuck in godless traffic, and your hear Bing, Mariah, or Burl singing, and you see people all caught up in the American “pursuit of happiness,” remember, Christmas is about God, in his omnibenevolence, invading this world to give every soul the chance to be born again. Remember what  C. S. Lewis, in his essay “A Lost Chapter of Herodotus,” wrote, “Exmas distracts the minds even of the few from sacred things. And we indeed are glad that men should make merry at Crissmas; but in Exmas there is no merriment left.”   Let us indeed make merry; Christ is born!  Just don’t let the canned happiness crowd Christ out of your Christmas.