There is an adage that says, “Familiarity breeds contempt”. Whereas, I believe that this is not always the case, I do believe that familiarity can breed indifference.
Take Christmas, for instance. Almost everyone in America is familiar with the Christmas Story. People are aware of the Nativity Scene. People sing Christmas Carols, which describe the account of Christmas. Stores, houses and streets are decorated with Christmas ornaments signifying the joy of the season.
More people know where Jesus was born than where Abraham Lincoln was birthed. Most
everyone know that baby Jesus had three visitors from the east. Hardly anyone knows who made visits when they, themselves, were infants.
Yes, the Christmas Story is well known and widely celebrated. Hardly anyone ever skips a Christmas. As far as I know, December 25 comes around every year.
As a result of this familiarity, we tend to neglect the deeper significance of this wonderful and glorious event. Even in the lifetime of Jesus, after the event of His birth, people became indifferent to His presence. The people who knew Him said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:22). Their familiarity with Him bred indifference. He was just Joseph’s kid, nothing special.
If you feel indifference in your Yuletide existence, let me offer you a possible solution. This Christmas do the unfamiliar. Look for new and different ways of applying Christmas. Perhaps you could change gift-giving patterns. Give gifts in Jesus name to a family in need.
If you never have before, try…
- Attending the Christmas Eve service as a family and bring your unchurched family or friends
- Offering to say grace at your extended family gathering
- Leading your family in the singing of carols
- Taking your family Christmas caroling around the neighborhood or at a retirement community
- Having a time of sharing your favorite Christmas remembrance
- Spending time serving a hot Christmas meal at a mission
- Giving a non-material gift to Jesus (like giving up a bad habit)
- Be creative. Do something unfamiliar to celebrate Christmas this year. And may the God who sent His only begotten Son on Christmas continue to bless you and yours.
Pastor Cory, d.v.
P.S. If you do something creatively different this Christmas, please send me your idea so I can pass it along to others (firstname.lastname@example.org).