By Roc Collins
President, Tennessee Baptist Convention
Christmas is here!! In just a few days we will celebrate Christmas. It is one of my favorite times. Surely the songwriter had it right when he penned, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” What makes it so wonderful? Some will say it is the gifts and decorations, the shopping and parties, the food and fun, among other things that make Christmas enjoyable. Yes, Christmas can be enjoyable because of these things but they are not what makes Christmas wonderful. Christmas is wonderful because of Christ! You know you can’t spell Christmas without Christ so you surely can’t celebrate and understand Christmas without knowing Christ.
We Tennesseans know all about Christmas. Why we even have a song about it, “Another Tender Tennessee Christmas,”and I must admit there is nothing like a Tennessee Christmas. However, I am more aware than ever that across our beloved state there are many who don’t know what Christmas is all about because they don’t know Christ. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, our deliverer, our hope and our help, was born to save us.
We know about Christ, but there are still 3,000,000 people in our state who don’t know Him. Who is going to tell them? Our society is not going to tell them because our society is more and more interested in the commercialization of this time of year than the reality of Jesus Christ. Who will tell them? Those who profit from this time of year? No, they desire temporal financial gain more than eternal riches in Jesus Christ. Who will tell them? The political system? No, they are trying to make sure everyone just says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” so as to not offend anyone. Who will tell them – the 3,000,000 people in our state that live next door, go to school with our children, and shop at our local Walmart? Who will tell them?
I believe that Tennessee Baptists should be the ones to tell others about “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” because we know what makes it wonderful. A baby, born to a virgin named Mary, a woman who had found favor in the sight of God. A baby, born and laid in a manger who was visited by wise men and shepherds. A baby, born for the purpose of saving sinful man from an eternity separated from God.
Those who are lost need to hear about this baby – Jesus – who was born, thus making Christmas a reality. Don’t just wish “Happy Holidays” but wish others a “Merry Christmas” and then be sure they know how to have a Merry Christmas. It is not just a wish but rather a relationship with Jesus that makes Christmas Merry!
— Collins is pastor of Indian Springs Baptist Church, Kingsport.