The message that we learn right away is that for millions of people this beautiful day is probably overwhelmingly about shopping and gifts. While many others search to find the hours of church services in the local communities, the majority apparently searches for Walmart and Target hours.
It is sad to see our society focusing so much on the wants. Certainly, gift giving is not the original meaning of Christmas. But this is not what the media, culture and the overall society will tell you. Yesterday HULIQ wrote about many people who have fallen a prisoner to this false, but realistic expectation of gift giving and excessive shopping. Parents, who barely make the ends meet, express their emotions in social media about their desperation on how to afford this gift buying competition. What do you tell to these parents? How do you comfort them?
The only solution is to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.
I have asked to many of my friends about their plans for Christmas Eve. Some will spend the Christmas Eve in the church, others tell me they have their family coming over and they have a family meal planned for the evening. Is this a good excuse for a Christian not to attend the celebration? The family members that are coming, are they not Christians as well? If the emphasis of the Christmas season is only a family gathering, in many places they end in an attempt to resolve long standing family conflicts. In fact, Christmas Eve or the Day are the worst times to resolve family conflicts, writes Duke University professor, Dr. Prakash Masand at Emaxhealth. But if you are gathering to celebrate your faith, the birth of Jesus Christ then the values and the emphasis is elsewhere. Jesus is invited to your homes and hearts and you take action for your faith and your beliefs.
The Midnight Mass has traditionally been my favorite service to attend on Christmas Eve. It has brought peace and love into the hearts of my family members. It can also bring great spiritual joy and a human connection to the many people who are spending Christmas alone.
Christmas is a Christian feast. It is a Christian Holiday. If you are a Christian, meeting baby Jesus and celebrating His birthday should be the only number one focus of your attention, mind and heart. Stand up for your faith at this Christmas Eve, and carry the light to your friends.
Merry Christmas 2013.