by Linda Veath Cox

My favorite time of the year is just around the corner. You guessed it! Christmas!

Oh. Wait. Am I allowed to say Christmas?

Much of the world thinks of it as a “winter festival.” Christmas carols and songs about Christ’s birth are banned from school “winter festival programs.” Cities aren’t allowed to display manger scenes in their town squares. Clerks aren’t allowed to wish us “Merry Christmas.”

And Christmas cards—even ones classified as Christian—sanitize the message of Christmas and use “happy holidays” or “the baby in the manger” rather than the word JESUS. They focus on family traditions, peace in the world, and blessings but never seem to get around to the true reason we are celebrating.

There’s no doubt about it. We live in a VERY upside-down world. But that’s why we celebrate Christmas. Jesus came to take that upside-down world and turn it right side up. The baby born in the manger in Bethlehem took on human form that He might become the perfect sacrifice for our sins and turn the world around. Not only for Christmas, but for every day of the year. For each of us living in our own “individual little worlds.”

So as we celebrate Christmas this year, may all that we do—whether sending cards, buying gifts, decorating the tree, or baking cookies—reflect the true meaning of Christmas. And in the process may others see that it is Jesus, Lord of lords and King of kings, who turns our world—and our Christmas activities—right side up.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who being in very nature God

did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,

He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place

and gave Him the name that is above every name,

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 4:5-11 (NIV)

Linda Veath Cox is a regular contributor to DivineDetour. She recently retired after twenty-five years as a district office secretary for the State of Illinois. Her first loves are studying the Bible and reading, but she occasionally tries her hand at writing. Her work is published in All My Bad Habits I Learned from Grandpa (Thomas Nelson), The One-Year Life Verse Devotional (Tyndale), Life Lessons from Grandparents (Write Integrity), Love Is a Verb (a devotional from Bethany House), and Chicken Soup for the Soul’s I Can’t Believe My Dog Did That. She lives in a small town in the Midwest with the “Bone Mafia,” her two indoor/outdoor mutts.