I have been incarcerated for 14 years and the more I read the Word of God, the more I realize that my former traditions of celebrating Christmas were in fact not Christlike at all. The corporations of the globe have seized and confiscated this day to exploit consumers and enslave them to worship this holiday solely based on materialism.
Halloween was just around the corner this year and Target was already unveiling commercials to prep consumers to get ready for their holiday shopping. I can moan and groan about how much prison sucks while having to experience Christmas in this condition, but what is that point of that?
Sure, I have plenty of stories to share with you from the first one: having to experience an ostracization such as being phased into the system or two years ago when a correctional officer falsified a disciplinary report to have me put in solitary confinement. Instead of banging my head with “why me’s,” I realized that the main reason for the many furnaces of affliction that I’ve endured was to strip me of my worldly ornaments and instill a more intimate way of celebrating the birth of Christ.
So what is the true meaning of Christmas? In this millennial age, I believe it lost its flavor. It’s not to be focused on how much you saved your money all year to spend it on those you care about and then go back to spending the rest of the calendar year breaking yourself to complete the cycle all over again the following year. That’s fruitless and has nothing to do with the Spirit.
It’s not about whether Dave and Rose’s Nativity Scene is perfectly depicted. It’s not about whether the Jones’s down the street have an LED display that can rival the North Star. And it’s definitely not about anyone’s three being true to the season’s spirit. Please don’t get me started on Santa Claus!
This holiday should be about us digging deeper and seeing past the superficial way of Christmas. It should be about what lives we have impacted this Advent on the Lord’s behalf. Do we find it in our hearts to have compassion on a neighbor at his or her lowest moment? Did we reach out to a total stranger and mistakenly entertain an angel? Did we find a way to mend the wounds of the neglected and build bridges during these times littered with divisiveness?
“When you do it to the least of these my brethren, you do it unto me.” Matthew 25:40b
Have we, as a chosen royal people forgotten those words from our Savior or do we pick and choose when to dispense his commandments?
The greatest gift to humanity has always been Jesus Christ. No, it’s not fire nor is it that awesome gingerbread house made by Aunt Jean! The human race was destitute of being able to have a true and loving relationship with our Thrice Holy Creator and He Himself intervened and gave us a child named Emmanuel. We as Ambassadors of Jesus are to walk this Earth with the intention to be restorers to any and all who are destitute of the relationship that God has ordained for all in a loving and harmonizing way that spreads Godly unity.
Believers of the faith are not to identify with a worldly take on love by materialistic goods. I’m not saying that presents should be abolished. I mean, who does not love handing out and receiving gifts? I know I do. What I am saying is that Christmas should be a day that inspires all believers to be reflections of the light that God has given us to follow. The Kingdom of God is at hand and the Kingdom is founded on kindness, compassion, mercy, humility, patience, and most importantly Godly love.
“We love him because he love us first.” 1 John 4:19
So, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord, I hope this essay will saturate your hearts with a reinvigorated outlook on how to spend Christmas in a sincere, Christlike manner. May God bless you with an overflow of spiritual richness that produces fruit a hundred fold. Amen.