It seems we really do want Christ around at Christmas time. We do want the baby in the manger and the shepherds and the angels. It’s such a nice story. There’s a longing to hear that story, evidenced by the number of people who come to church once a year on Christmas Eve. Without it, Christmas would simply be a commercial boon to those who want to get into our pocketbooks. Without the nativity, Christmas would become a secular day off because of a fictional man in a red suit. Without Jesus, we’re left with trees and twinkly lights and paper and ribbon. We do want Christ in Christmas — it’s the only way it can mean anything.
But the sign in my neighbor’s yard will come down soon. And it won’t be long before it’s obvious that we don’t want to keep Christ in the rest of the year. Certainly not in the public square. Certainly not in our personal space. Most of us are not too keen on letting that sweet baby who is asleep on the hay, wake up and grow up to rule the world with truth and grace. So the sign comes down and the decorations get put away and we get on with our lives until next year.
Let’s keep Christ in Christmas, yes. But let’s free Him from the manger bed and see what happens when we give Him the right to rule and reign in our lives every day, all year long.