It happened again today. Someone mentioned the “magic of Christmas.” Honestly, I’ve heard the phrase so many times it barely registers, but this time it caught my attention.
To me, the “magic of Christmas” is Jesus’ birth, the very idea that the Most High God would send His beloved Son to be raised then sacrificed by undeserving traitors for their eternal redemption.
To this woman, however, the “magic of Christmas” is people simply being nice to each other, tipping big and holding doors open, in particular, things she knows instinctively will pass with the season.
I supposed she has a point. It is kind of magical how most people tend toward kindness during the Christmas season, even if a few choose not to, and she’s right to assume this kind of magic will, for the most part, soon pass. Although we humans are pretty good at donning our attitudinal best and mustering up good will toward men for brief stretches of time, we just don’t have it in us to love others as God would have us to for the long haul. Our humanness gets in the way.
However, when the Holy Spirit, God Himself, enters a person’s heart as a result of their having put their faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection for salvation from the consequences of sin (Eph. 1:13), the impossible becomes possible (Luke 18:27) and being human is no longer a limitation.
To the degree we allow, the Holy Spirit begins to teach and empower us, to direct us and stir within us noble desires (Isa. 11:2, Phil. 2:13). All we have to do is listen to His voice, obey Him even when it costs us, and let God love people through our obedience (1 John 5:2), so illustrating the Gospel that began with Jesus’ birth.
When we cooperate with God, we shine like the Bethlehem star (Phil. 2:15) long after the general glow of the season fades, and people continue to experience the “magic of Christmas” in our presence. If our obedience leads them to put their faith in the One we serve, that “magic” will be theirs forever!