December 10, 2015 Year C
Christmastime is a time of celebration. Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. During this special time, we are involved in all kinds of activities that supplement the true celebration. These verses remind us that we should not let the celebration of Christmas make us complacent to the need for others to hear the Gospel.
What are the signs that as Christians, we have become complacent at Christmastime when we are more interested in:
1. Having comfort rather than being caring (Amos 6:1, Amos 6:4).
The Jews in Jerusalem were “at ease.” They felt secure. They did not want to think about the conditions of other people. The same is true for us at Christmas. We want Christmas to be a time of comfort. Even though there are people in pain who need someone to reach out to them. We are more interested that we are taken care of, than reaching out to others who need help.
2. Trusting in my prosperity, not in God’s provision (Amos 6:2).
The people in Amos’ time were looking at their prosperity – what they have produced and accumulated. They would see the land as something that they made, not something that God gave them. This would lead them to a sense of entitlement. The same is true today. This sense of entitlement fuels the complacency at Christmastime. God provides for the gifts at Christmas. We need to remember that gifts don’t come from our own effort, but from God’s provision.
3. Thinking about today instead of being ready for the future (Amos 6:3).
The people in Noah‘s day were marrying and drinking and didn’t care about the fact that God was going to judge them until the Flood came. Noah readied his family and built a boat. Noah was ready for God’s judgment.
Do I care about God’s future judgment today? Have I prepared myself for the day when God will judge the entire world? I run the danger of not being prepared when I think about today instead of being ready for the future.
4. Singing wonderful music rather than worshiping God (Amos 6:5).
Christmas comes with its own brand of music. You can hear all kinds of songs about reindeer, Santa, and the weather. Then there are songs about Jesus in which one can use to worship. We can easily mix the two and miss out on Christ and an opportunity to worship Him.
5. Celebrating rather than changing (Amos 6:6).
The people of Israel chose to spend time celebrating. They avoided the hard part of changing. They chose not to “grieve over the ruin of Joseph.” Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned. Marie Antoinette is rumored to have said: “Let them eat cake” while the people starved in rebellion during the French Revolution. The leaders of Israel celebrated while their people were hurting – that the “ruin of Joseph”. The leaders of Israel kept themselves rich, while others were kept poor. When we as Christians come to the point where we turn a blind eye to people around us who need help, and focus on our happiness alone during the Christmas season, we are being complacent.
The danger in being complacent during Christmas is that Christmas changes. It changes from being a time of reflecting on Christ and instead becomes a time to celebrate our own greatness without God’s grace. Pride without piety. Humanity without humility. God hates that and He will judge His people for allowing it (Amos 6:7-8).
Prayer: God, please help me learn not to be complacent this Christmas. Help me remember that God is the reason for Christmas.