Don’t miss Christmas

Pastor Thad Gifford - Contributing Columnist

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” During the weeks that lead up to Christmas, doesn’t it seem to you like people are a little friendlier? They seem to have a smile on their face and they aren’t as serious and maybe not even as grumpy as they are during the rest of the year. The snow starts to fall around December, there is a crisp chill to the air, and all of God’s Creation seems to be anticipating the day that we celebrate the birth of God’s Son, Jesus. For Christians, this certainly is the most wonderful time of the year. Christendom cannot wait to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.

Yet, on the other side of the coin, there will be many who will “miss” Christmas again this year. They will be too occupied in finding the “right” gift for family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers. From Fingerlings to brand new cars with a red bow on the roof, the hunt for the perfect gift began weeks ago.

I have noticed though that for many people, Christmas is not about Jesus’ birth. Christmas has been replaced by the “need” to find the “right” Christmas tree, the “right” food to serve and the “right” gift to give. We went to a Christmas party this week at the home of an acquaintance of Beth — someone she has work contact with. If I were to tell you the area of Columbus that they live in, you would know that they live in a really nice house. (We could say, mansion!) At any rate, from the moment we walked into their house and saw the 15 foot, beautifully decorated Christmas tree, and then went into their kitchen (which was about the size of our house) and nibbled on the smoked turkey, smoked beef brisket, jumbo shrimp, dates, dried fruits, and plate after plate of rich foods, until I couldn’t eat another bite … then the “toasting” began! Most raised alcoholic beverages, while another couple and Beth and I raised apple cider, for each of the toasts to this and toasts to that … you get the idea! Then two delicious cakes decorated in ways that I could not even dream of were cut and we enjoyed the richest German chocolate and Raspberry/Lemon cakes I have ever tasted. (They had to have had about an inch of delicious frosting on them!) Awesomely good! We did have a great time, but I thought about something on the way home — not one prayer was offered and not one word about Jesus was said.

Jesus is the Reason for the Season, right? Yet, how many Christmas parties will be held? How many family get-togethers will there be, how many presents will be bought and how many presents will be opened between now and the New Years, and how many will remember the real Reason for the Season? In other words, how many people will enjoy the holiday instead of enjoying the holy day of Christ birth? How many will “miss” Christmas because they have gotten caught up in the things of the world?

I’m not knocking the buying and giving of gifts. Or Christmas parties, or family get-togethers. No way! But couldn’t we open up Luke 2 and share with our families the “real” Reason for the Season. Jesus came to this world to be born as the Son of God that would be killed on a cross in order to pay the debt of sin for all mankind. That is what Christmas is all about. That is the real Reason for the Season. It’s not about Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings. It’s about Merry Christmas because without Christ, there would be no Christmas, and without Christmas there would be no birth of God’s Son and with the birth of God’s Son, there could be no substitutionary payment for our sins, and without a payment for our sins are all lost and on the road to a devil’s hell. Thank God for Christmas! Thank God for Christ’s birth! Thank God for Salvation through Jesus death. But also thank God that we serve a risen Savior and one day He is coming back again for those who have accepted His free gift of eternal life!

Don’t miss Christmas this year! Make it a point to share Christ with your family and friends. Read Luke 2 before you eat or before you open presents. Share your faith in Christ and maybe, just maybe, someone you know and love will accept Christ as their Savior this year too. That would be the greatest gift they could ever receive — the free gift of eternal life. Merry Christmas!

And that is Something to Think About for this week.

Crossroads will have a Candlelight Christmas Eve service beginning at 7 p.m. Please join us and if you are looking for a church home, we would be glad to have your family come and grow with our family.

If you are on Facebook, you can watch our service live on Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. Simply like our Facebook page at Crossroadslondon and watch.

Pastor Thad Gifford

Contributing Columnist

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.