News Articles

FIRST-PERSON: For those who fear the music, the celebrations & the message

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–In celebrating Christ’s birth, we are reminded that Christmas is about God breaking into the arena of human life. He pitches his tent with us. He walks with us. He is with us wherever we go and whatever we do.

Sadly, many today do not look forward to Christmas. Crimes of murder and violence rise during this season. The suicide rate is higher in December than any other time of year. More people seek help for emotional and mental problems before and after Christmas as they struggle with fear, depression, despair and hopelessness.

Why is Christmas such a depressing time for many people?

First, I believe the music, the celebrations and the message surrounding Christmas remind some people of what they could be and what they ought to be. In Scripture, King Herod is one who represents a picture of those who don’t know who they are and are not at peace with themselves. A pervasive presence in the Christmas story, Herod was a mighty and powerful king, but he viewed this helpless baby, born to parents of poverty, as a threat to his security and well-being.

Second, Christmas can be depressing when we have not dealt with our sin. Herod was a cruel king who had killed members of his own family to maintain his throne. We must give our sins to Christ who came to take upon himself the sins of the world and offer forgiveness to all of us.

Finally, Christmas is depressing to those who don’t believe that love is the way to life. Herod thought violence and force were the cures to all problems. But Christ is telling us that, while you can take God’s love and nail it to a cross, it’s going to keep pursuing you. You can’t kill God’s love. “Love,” Jesus said, “is the way.”

Do you know someone who is hurting during this Christmas season? Reach out with the love of Christ. Give the gift of hope that is only possible through a relationship with the Savior whose birth on earth we celebrate at Christmas.
Draper is president of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    About the Author

  • James T. Draper Jr.