Marketing the Season of Christ’s Incarnation

I don’t know why I have never considered that which has today become some obvious to me – in the stores, shops, restaurants, and minds of Americans, Christmas is no longer primarily about Christ.  It is about a jolly ole’ gluttonous man, overeating, self-indulging shopping sprees, a time for peace in the nation minus the gospel of peace, and above all, an opportunity to market any and all manner of merchandise without even a sniff of the incarnation of Jesus Christ.  Our stores market and abuse words, themes, items that originated in the Bible, while extracting the true meaning of this celebration – the cosmic salvation of God, His deliverance of His elect, His creation from all principalities, powers, and oppressions, from sin, death, and hell, for His glory is all magnificently bundled up within the doctrine of Christ’s Incarnation.  This is what Christmas is about; this is the reason for the season; this is our celebration.  It is a time of reflection upon this accomplished salvation, this gospel offered and applied rather than the ridiculous amounts of materials we have received, most of which we will rarely – if ever – make serious use of.  The industry, however, has successfully lured us away from this reality, in large part because they do not know of it, but also because by so doing they stand to make lots of money.  So, I pose the question to you:  what have your considerations been this month?  Have they been centered on the affront that marketers have created to determine the ebb and flow of American consumerism, such that one has fallen into the wayside called Vanity-Fair?  Or have your thoughts been centered on reflecting God’s gift of His Son through your own sacrificial giving of time, love, energy, and yes, gifts to those in your family, friends, and a world of unbelievers – has Christ and His Incarnation been the material for your own musing this Christmas season?   Hopefully, He has and His salvation shall be the grace and salt upon our lips this year.

2 Responses

  1. Brian, I agree that the true meaning of Christmas is lost to so many people but not to true Christians. Santa or that fat, gluttonous man is a symbol to so many children of joy and surprise. It doesn’t mean that they are not Christians. Why can’t there be both? We can’t dog Santa Claus just because so many people are not people of faith. The world has room for both Jesus Christ and Santa Claus. As for the people who don’t reflect on the true meaning ,they probably never did. I think people who grew up with the true spirit of Christmas probably know the difference and respect the true meaning. Do I think the Christmas season has been grossly over marketed and puts pressure on people to spend what they cannot afford, YES but that doesn’t mean that people of good faith have forgotten the true meaning and they can still carry on the tradition of Santa Claus for their children. I love you and have read some of your blog and you are worlds ahead of me. Keep up the excellent work. xoxoxoxo

  2. I don’t think that an assault on Santa was my purpose; rather, a centering on what seems to be lost amongst people in general this time of year, believer or unbeliever, namely, Jesus Christ. The unbeliever would have a Christ-less Christmas, for they do not know Christ; when I say that they do not know Christ, I do not intend to say that an unbeliever cannot understand the Bible, or know certain facts about Jesus and the biblical story line; however, an unbeliever cannot embrace that knowledge as true, as the objective reality of God, as the very exclusive means of their salvation before a holy God. The mention of this exclusivity, this absoluteness, this objectivity is something that contemporary unbelievers would have nothing to do with because it all refers to Jesus Christ. As for the believer, we are no less prone to give priority to things other than Jesus Christ – daily, not just at Christmas. But God will be first – forever; the Bible tells me so (as the song so appropriately goes)! Indeed, the reality that has happened in the believer through faith in Jesus Christ is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), which includes new affections, thoughts, motivations, loves, desires, dislikes, battles, priorities, etc. – and it centers on glorifying God. That glory is supremely demonstrated in the incarnation, cross, burial, bodily resurrection, ascension, and second coming of God’s only begotten Son, my Lord, Jesus Christ. I will not assault Santa, or any other tradition that accompanies the season; however, on the basis of the supremacy of Christ and the direction in which redemptive history in Him is heading, namely, to His ultimate redemption of the creation and of those individuals who have trusted in Him alone for salvation, and on the reality that the soul is most satisfied when it knows and enjoys communion with this Savior, I will say that even the slightest priority given to Santa or anything else in this season, especially to children whom God conceived and created that they might know and enjoy HIM (Psalm 37:4) forever via a relationship with this Jesus who died for their sin, is weak, extremely unsatisfying, and misses the sweetness of reality – a fantasy like Santa, much less any man for one another or for themselves can work a salvation from God’s wrath – Jesus has accomplished it on His cross; God is the highest enjoyment; “Whom have I in heaven but you? Nothing on earth do I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is my strength and my portion forever,” (Psalm 73:25-26). I find, then, that to direct the attention of the soul towards anything else as more pleasing, more essential, or even equally as enjoyable as Jesus Christ, is not to gently carry on the imaginations of men towards lovable and lighthearted moments, but to direct them away from the beauty, the grandeur, even the salvation of the incomparable, indescribable gift of God in His Son Jesus Christ.

    Hopefully, you have read this far – thus I will say: it is not about me being worlds ahead of you; I understand it as a compliment; however, I would offer myself to you as your servant; The Lord of glory stepped out of glory and put on human flesh; infinitely beautiful, Isaiah writes that He had no form or beauty that we would have admired HIm; He, the Almighty God whom all will bow before, before whom all would tremble in His presence, put on flesh, lived the life that I could never live, sinless before God, and yet served me, the sinner, by dying for me, in my place, my punishment for my sin, on His cross; and with His redeemed in mind, He raised Himself from the dead triumphant over sin, death, Satan, and hell – for death could not hold Him . . . for He had never actually sinned. This is the gospel, the gracious and glorious gospel – God in the flesh served sinners such that anyone who calls upon His name in repentance of sin and faith in Him, that is, Jesus Christ, will be reconciled to God, saved, given eternal life with Him in His glory. You say that I am worlds ahead of you; I say that Christ created the world, much more, the universe (Colossians 1:14-23), and yet He did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). So I say, I humbly am yours to serve in the gospel, and to point you in His grace to Jesus alone – with God’s help, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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