Outside of cheering for a sports team, at Christmas time we use
the word ‘Cheer’ more often than any other time. We love
spreading Christmas cheer!
Growing up my family celebrated Christmas in two ways.
First, even though we had no chimney (?), we celebrated with presents under the tree
delivered by a white-haired man in a red suit on a magical sleigh led by flying
reindeer. I wrote Santa letters and tried really hard to be on the nice list.
I couldn’t wait till the Christmas classics would be on TV! Then when I was in
college, the movie Elf came out and he taught us the best way to spread Christmas
cheer is singing loud for all to hear!
We also celebrated Christmas with plays and crafts and stories at church, all
centered around the biblical narrative of Jesus’ birth.
I never struggled with the concept of Santa being more of a focus than Jesus. I think that’s
mostly because throughout the rest of the year we continued to learn about Jesus. He
was reinforced in our home and at church. Santa doesn’t have a church (although I’d
be interested in visiting it if he did), so that was easy for me.
How do we spread Christmas cheer Jesus style? Is singing louder still the answer? I
don’t think so. In 2 Corinthians 9, the Apostle Paul dedicates 9 verses to teach us how
to become a cheerful giver.
Verse 7 in particular is one we quote often at OLC as a reason for using giving boxes
in place of passing an offering plate. It says, “Each one must give as he has decided in
his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
I think this is about giving money, but is also about giving time and talent to the work of
Christ. I would encourage you this December, as you consider how to give in these three
areas to do so prayerfully and cheerfully.
Giving is the best way to spread Christmas cheer.
– Pastor Guy