How is your Christmas shopping coming along? Maybe you’ve already got it completed, with every single gift wrapped with a bow beneath your Christmas tree.
Or perhaps you haven’t bought a single gift yet, and the looming pressure of getting everything together at the last minute has you feeling a bit overwhelmed.
If you’re a man, your blood pressure may start to elevate with the mere thought of Christmas shopping. No, seriously — a British psychologist conducted a study and it was proven that men’s blood pressure is affected by Christmas shopping.
Women, however, were proven to have zero changes in their blood pressure. I’ve seen this study proven firsthand when my wife and I go Christmas shopping together.
Here’s the thing: We can all get so caught up in the business of the season that we completely lose sight of the real message and meaning behind Christmas. Beyond that, we can even “lose God” in the midst of it all.
I once heard a story of a little boy who went down to the local church in his town at Christmastime. He was amazed by all of the beautiful candles that filled the room, and he couldn’t hold himself back from blowing them all out. After each and every puff he would loudly sing, “Happy Birthday, Jesus!”
The minister saw this and was steaming. He decided he would visit that boy at home to put the fear of God in him. He talked to the boy’s parents and told them everything he had done — the candles, the singing, all of it.
Towering over the boy, the minister said, “Young man, where is God?”
The boy replied, “Mommy! They lost God down at that church and they think I took Him!”
Without question, in many ways, some of us have lost Jesus this Christmas. We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle and commercialism of it all. Nativity scenes and other Christmas images have been ripped from schools and public property. “Merry Christmas!” has been replaced with “Happy Holidays!” and Christmas trees are often referred to as “holiday trees.”
I heard of candy canes being banned in an elementary school by the principal because he thought the shape of the candy cane in a ‘J” suggested Jesus.
Talk about going to extremes.
Where is Jesus in the midst of Christmas? You might be surprised to know there’s been some pushback on this exact issue. Surveys have been conducted , and the majority of Americans have stated they prefer “Merry Christmas” over other less religious holiday sayings.
I say we step it up a notch to, “Merry birth of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Day!”
Let me ask you today: Do you and your family know more about Frosty, Rudolph and Santa’s reindeer than the birth of Jesus Christ? Thankfully for us, we can find out everything we need to know about Christ in the word of God.
Crack open your Bible daily this Christmas season. Bring the story of Christmas to life as you read about the birth of Jesus to your children, family and friends.
In your pursuit to have the perfect Christmas, don’t miss out on the perfect gift that is waiting for you today.
“The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord'” (Luke 2).
Greg Laurie is senior pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. He is the author of more than 70 books, including his latest, “Jesus Revolution.”  He’s also the host of the national radio broadcast “A New Beginning” and the founder of Harvest Crusades.