It's that time of year again when everything seems to go crazy. Last week on the news were pictures of people fighting for the best bargain, trampling over one another to get the latest TV.
In Northallerton yesterday we celebrated what our town is calling 'Santa Sunday'. Have we become so consumer orientated that we will celebrate Santa and completely forget about the one reason that we have Christmas in the first place.
Christmas has become about shopping until your arms drop off, eating so much food that we can't physically move, and worshipping a man dressed in a red suit while queuing for hours to meet him.
Just over 2000 years ago, a baby was born in a place fit for animals. He was born in a small town in the chaos of a census. He was visited by the humblest of shepherds and the grandest of wise men. And here we are all those years later celebrating the birth of this baby, without even a thought for him, but instead by wanting more for ourselves and consuming as much as we can in the shortest space of time.
When God sent his Son to this earth, it wasn't so that we could all have a party, it was so that we can know him. Jesus, as a man taught us about God and how to pray, he taught us to love one another and how we are meant to be. But instead we celebrate his birth so often without a thought for him.
If you want to celebrate Christmas the way that God intended then it's really easy to do. All you need to do is STOP. Stop and think, stop and wait, stop and allow God to speak to you through the Christmas message. The real meaning of Christmas is simple...God loved the world so much that He sent his Son to the world as a baby, to love the world, to guide the world and to ultimately die for the world. Receive him today, and know that there will be the greatest party you will ever know when you do. As it says in the Bible,
'I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent - Luke 15:7