Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Santamas or Christmas

Santamas or Christmas

Daniel 3 is the story of King Nebuchadnezzar and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and the ‘blazing furnace’.   In this biblical story an angel enters the furnace and prevents the fire from consuming them.  
The consumerism associated with Christmas has become akin to the consuming fire in King Nebuchadnezzar furnace.  It burns everyone and everything that gets too close.  So how do we as Christian parents and grandparents protect our children as the angel protected Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? 
We live within a consumer driven world that has replaced ‘The Nativity Story’ with ‘The Night Before Christmas’.  The one story ends with good children getting gifts and bad children a piece of coal and the other with the birth of the Saviour who has come to all human beings.  

Santa Claus gets more TV, radio and greeting card coverage than does Christ yet the word Christmas comes from the old English Crīstesmæssemeaning Christ’s Mass. 

How do we as Christian parents and grandparents protect our children in this particular furnace? 

 I have some suggestions:

Christ came not as King but as a servant.  Building servitude into our Christmas traditions provides families with both a concrete activity that teaches volunteerism and provides families with the opportunity to talk about Christ’s message of servant leaders.

Christ gave of his time, talents and life.  Create a family culture/tradition of giving.  Giving gifts that we create that come from our talents, hobbies and knowledge of the person who will receive the gift.

1 John 4:9-11
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Christ's message of  love.  Decorate and create room in your everyday Christmas activities for the biblical stories of love, for ‘The Nativity Story’.

I will end this post with a tradition that a reader shared with me.   

Her father would come to the family home on Christmas Eve and after the evening meal and before the children went to bed.  He would gather his grandsons around him and read the ‘Night Before Christmas’  once done the boys were urge their grandfather to read the ‘real’ Christmas story.  

So it was that his grandsons went to bed with the ‘Nativity Story’ fresh in their minds.   

On Christmas morning before gifts were opened a cup cake was brought out with one candle in it and everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday to Jesus’ and then opened their Christmas presents.
Grandma Snyder
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