business (n): an activity that someone is engaged in; a person’s concern; work that has to be done or matters that have to be attended to; a person’s regular occupation, profession, or trade
In many industries, especially in retail, the business of Christmas will make or break their entire fiscal year.
One of my great professional experiences was serving five years in the headquarters of a Fortune 500 retailer with 40,000 employees across 1,700 locations. The six weeks between mid-November and New Years was critical for us, as it determined our annual success (profit) or failure (loss).
Unlike the business of a retail establishment, for most of us, it’s the busyness of Christmas that makes it the most hectic time of the year. Although our holiday busyness may not make or break our entire year, it often radically increases our activity levels through multiple work and personal parties, unending shopping, gift wrapping, special events, family trips and more.
Unfortunately, all this busyness can easily distract us from the true business of Christmas.
The True Business of Christmas
The true business of Christmas is not found in a retail store, a stocking, or even a house of worship. It’s not found in the songs we sing or the movies we watch. It’s not even found in the gifts we give and receive or our fantastic family gatherings.
Indeed, all these activities can contribute to wonderful Christmas memories, and I am by no means suggesting we eliminate them. What I am suggesting is that the real business of Christmas can only be found in one place, a place often ignored and easy to overlook with so many distractions.
The true business of Christmas can only found in our hearts.
You see Christmas, by definition, is about Christ. It’s about God sending his only son to be born of a virgin, live a sinless life, die for our collective sins, and be raised from the dead to defeat the evil one.
The only place to fully experience the power of His birth, death, and resurrection power so we can defeat the enemy is in our hearts.
Busyness or Business?
The true business of Christmas, therefore, is to allow Christ fully into our hearts and remember what He came to do for us. Then from His love and the hope He gives us, we in turn give gifts, sing songs, watch shows, attend worship services, and fully enjoy this time of celebration.
So I exhort you: do not confuse the busyness of Christmas with the business of Christmas.
For the true business of Christmas is the exact opposite of busyness, for the true business of Christmas lives in our hearts
Toward the end of the classic cartoon, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” after witnessing all the commercialism and busyness of the season, Charlie shouts out in frustration, “Can anybody tell me the real meaning of Christmas?” His best friend Linus then slowly walks to center stage, asks for the spotlight, and recites Luke 2:8-14 on the birth of Jesus.
Linus reminded Charlie Brown that the true business of Christmas is all about our hearts and living our lives to be living examples of “peace on earth & good will toward men.”
May the true business of Christmas fill your hearts with His presence and power.
Merry Christmas everyone!