I Went Out And I Was Grieved.

By Pastor Vincent Imwensi

Yesterday, I went to the shopping area in the city where there are a number of big shopping malls and several shops and they were as busy as a beehive as people prepare for Christmas. The excitement of buying and selling as usual was in the air but one thing was missing. There was hardly any mention being made of the one who indeed is the reason for the season – the Lord Jesus Christ.

Just a few years back, at this time of the year, Christmas songs about the coming of the Saviour to save humanity was blared everywhere you went. Christmas greeting posters and cards were hung in the shops to remind everyone what the season was about. But now, that is almost a thing of the past.

But They Sang At Halloween

I was particularly grieved in my heart because just over a month ago when it was Halloween, some of these same shops were loudly playing Halloween greetings wishing everyone a spooky, scary, haunted, frightening, and ghosts-filled Halloween.  It was okay to play Halloween music and wish customers a wicked Halloween but it is not okay to play Christmas greetings and wish people a merry Christmas. Don’t tell me they don’t know what they are doing. It is an outright denial of the One who came to this sinful world to lay down His life for the salvation of our souls.

A Sickening Denial

This denial is even on a greater scale. Here in London for instance, when it was Christmas, there used to be Christmas lightings in the streets with “Merry Christmas” boldly displayed but that has since become “offensive” and socially incorrect.  The lightings are still there but they have been stripped of those words “Merry Christmas.”

Not to mention that nowadays, some people consider it more socially correct and acceptable to say “happy holidays” than to say “Happy Christmas” or “Merry Christmas.” Why? Because the word “Christmas” reminds people of Christ, the reason for the season – which many are uncomfortable with and/or unwilling to accept.

Even The Gift Wrappers Say So

I was surprised last year when I went to the shops to get a Christmas gift wrapper – it was hard to find one with Happy or Merry Christmas written on it. There were of course a lot of wrapping papers but without Merry or Happy Christmas written on them. It wasn’t like that before. Don’t tell me it doesn’t mean anything! It is part of the denial.  

When you think of the glory that Jesus left in heaven to come to this sinful world and the heavy price He paid to secure salvation for humanity, you’ll see the evil and the wickedness of such blatant denial and ungrateful disregard.

What Can We Do About This?

Of course we cannot tell everyone how to celebrate their Christmas but if you are a born again Christian, I have four suggestions of how we should each address this unfortunate situation.

1. Grateful Praise And Thanksgiving To God.

Let us with a grateful heart specifically thank and praise God everyday during this season (even if it is for just a few minutes each day). Thank God on behalf of humanity for His marvellous love. Thank Him for sending His Son Jesus Christ to this world to save our souls from sin and impending hell. Thank the Lord Jesus for accepting to come to lay down His life in order to save us. And thank the Holy Spirit for making it happen. It took the mystery of the working power of the Holy Spirit for the virgin (Mary) to conceive and bring forth Jesus into this world. Nothing short of a profound gratitude is fitting.

2. Pray For God’s Mercy And Forgiveness

I often wonder how God feels about all this. If as ordinary human beings some of us can be grieved at this, what of the One who offered us such an undeserved gift or the One who Himself came down for our sake and is now being denied and marginalised?  Let us pray for God’s mercy and forgiveness on behalf of the multiplied millions and billions of people all over the world that have chosen to despise and disregard His gift of love, His Son Jesus Christ. There are of course, those who are following sheepishly without knowing the implications of their actions.

3. Personally Appreciate the Gift Of God afresh.

Thirdly, let us take time to carefully read and meditate on the accounts of the birth of Christ our Saviour as presented in the first two chapters of the gospel according to St. Luke and Matthew. Do this, not because you are looking for a sermon to preach or because you don’t already know what is there. But do it to give yourself the chance to properly meditate upon, and gratefully appreciate the coming of the Son of God to save your soul. Let the whole account come alive to you afresh.

4. Share The Good News

And fourthly, spread the good news. Use every opportunity that comes your way to share the good news of the Saviour that God sent to save our souls. Many may not realise it but the reason the giving of gifts and presents is a major part of Christmas is because it is about the One who is the greatest Gift of all time – Jesus Christ, God’s gift to a lost humanity.  There is no greater present or gift that anyone can receive than the gift of life – Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Do You Have This Gift?

Dear friend, if as you read this, you know you are saved (i.e. born again by faith in Christ Jesus), then rejoice and thank God. But if not, the door is still wide open. Receive God’s gift of life as you invite Jesus Christ by simple faith into your heart to be your personal Lord and Saviour. You can do it now – delay no further. To find out how, click here.

One Response to “I Went Out And I Was Grieved.”

  1. Maiviu says:

    This is so true. May God have mercy!

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