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Rediscover the Bible for Life
“The Christmas Spirit”
By Dennis Lee
What happens this time of year is truly amazing? You might call it a miracle. People are actually beginning to like each other. Some are even smiling, that is when they are not stuck in traffic or in long line at the stores.
It is a strange phenomenon. Family members who can’t stand each other all year long come together and are happy, or at least they tolerate one another. They sit down together and eat a meal rather than each other.
In fact, it is a time when most people around the world have dreams of peace. They talk of peace and about having that illusive quality of goodwill toward all, no matter what differences divide them.
This phenomenon is called the spirit of Christmas, a time of peace and goodwill towards all.
During this time we see an influx of charity as food and clothes are donated to the needy, toys are given to children who would have no Christmas, and money is given to good and noble causes. Even celebrities get into the act, giving their time to such events as feeding the homeless.
This spirit of Christmas builds momentum around the time of Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t last. The day after Christmas it begins to fade. The old feelings of hate and hurt return, which is disappointing to everyone.
Why is this the case? The answer is that all the love and kindness, the giving and generosity, the peace and goodwill that marks this time isn’t natural. It isn’t a natural part of the human soul or spirit.
And so, if we want to keep the spirit of Christmas 365 days a year, then something more is needed. What we need is not the Christmas spirit, what we need is the Spirit of Christ.
If we look at the angel’s proclamation to the shepherds on that first Christmas, we will see the difference.
While the spirit of Christmas comes only once a year, what we are told by the angels is that the Spirit of Christ if forever.
“And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:33)
While the spirit of Christmas is an emotional outpouring, that is, sentimental, the Spirit of Christ is supernatural.
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35a)
While the spirit of Christmas is generated through human will and is of human origin, the Spirit of Christ is divine, that is, it is from God.
“Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35b).
Like Mary who literally experienced Jesus Christ being formed within her through the power of the Holy Spirit, so will everyone who puts his or her trust in Jesus Christ. No, not in the same physical way, but spiritually we can experience the birth and formation of Jesus Christ through that very same power of the Holy Spirit.
We are no longer talking about a once a year event, but a perpetual indwelling, not of human origin, but something that is totally supernatural.
And so, as you begin to feel the Christmas spirit slipping away, realize that you can experience the real Spirit of Christmas, the Spirit of Christ Himself all year long.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study