By: Mike Stokes
There is a house my wife and I pass on our way to church which in the Christmas season has a large banner strung across the front entrance with this phrase emblazoned across it; Bah Humbug. This is a catchphrase used to express disgust with many of the Christmas traditions. Each time I see this it reminds me of a cartoon from a few years ago showing a woman saying to her husband, “Good grief, Henry. Here’s Christmas at our throats again.”
Amid the preparations for Christmas each year, there is always a few voices like hers, proclaiming a “Bah Humbug” on the whole Christmas affair. If the truth be known, some of us may feel less than excited about Christmas ourselves. The expense, the crowds, the overindulgence, the hurried schedule and all the other trappings of the Christmas celebration is enough to dampen our enthusiasm.
In the face of this humbug state of affairs, it is helpful to remember that God did not send His Son to be “at our throats,” but to be “in our hearts.” The difference in those two concepts defines the gap between gloom and glory. There is a reason we call the gospel good news. As John put it, “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17).
Jesus is God’s gift to our world–and to our hearts. When He lives within, whether we enjoy or merely tolerate the flurry of seasonal preparation, Christmas itself is a grand opportunity to say, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).