These days leading up to Christmas should be a crescendo of celebration. It shouldn’t be a descent into a legion of carnal indulgence. Whether it be to partake to the point of drunkenness, snap with annoyed anger at your children or spouse, scroll aimlessly down the dark corridors of the Internet, or bemoan some degree of loneliness, you must not invert the celebration of Christ’s Incarnation into an indulgence of the very things which He came to deliver you from.
Our celebration shouldn’t be seen as a diversion from the battle against the orcs of Hell. Rather, it is by our pure-hearted celebrations that we do battle against the deeds of darkness. We blow the trumpet of our feast to warn all the gloomy & bloated ranks of hellish vices that we are on the warpath.
So, do not feast on the poisoned fare of bitterness. Do not sip the spoiled wine of unlawful sexual fantasies. Do not brew a pot of irritation & frustration. Do not spread the table full of the watered down slop of laziness.
The Angels’ good news was that of great joy. Our celebration should be free from the yeast of sin, so that it might be leavened by the Gospel joy of the Kingdom. You can celebrate with vigor because the Lord Jesus came to forgive your sins.
So don’t try to indulge your sins by using this great grace as a camouflage for your carnal appetites. Don’t smuggle your lust, envy, lies, angst, greed, or gluttony into the Christmas celebration. Rather, celebrate with the joy of sins forgiven, life eternal given. Your joyful celebration of Christ while in Christ, is how you lay siege on the darkness. Your Christmas feasting, giving, & rejoicing are the frontlines of the battle with sin, the devil, and the world.
The Lord commands us to be vigilant, and to take heed lest we fall. We know that we are redeemed and cloaked in the grace of Christ’s righteousness. It is incumbent upon us to walk with a holy wariness, that we might rejoice and celebrate with Davidic zeal; but never for a moment allow the cunning works of the flesh a seat at the table. All too often we justify bad attitudes, fleshly indulgence, and slothful lethargy by telling ourselves, “It’s the holidays.” But the Father sent His Son to deliver us from such sins; may we not take these glad tidings as a permission slip to coddle our sins. Rather, by God’s great grace, may our celebration of Christ’s birth invigorate our battle against remaining corruption both inwardly in ourselves and outwardly in our church & our culture.