Christmastime: Is It Really a Racket?

A Racket: An illegal or dishonest scheme for obtaining money, power, position or fame.

In the classic holiday television special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the venerable Peanuts Character, Charlie Brown is struggling to find the true meaning of Christmas.

In his struggles, Charlie Brown consults the noted “expert” Lucy Van Pelt who provides this “sage” advice about the meaning of Christmas:

“Look Charlie, let’s face it.  We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket.  It’s run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.”

For many, the Christmas Season – with its financial pressures, over commercialization, and personal depression – really does seem like a racket.

Christmastime can seem like a racket, even for those of us who are professed followers of Jesus.

Look at the activities in our churches – we load the season with an entire year of “good works,” from concerts, to nursing home visits, to dinners and food drives.

With all these activities, we Christians often turn Christmastime into a racket, as the most wonderful time of the year becomes the most hectic time of the year, all in our zeal to “honor Jesus.”

However, before I get accused of being a Grinch, I just ask you to consider this: Christmastime really is a racket.

Why?

Because

  • All the problems influenced by Christmastime
  • All the pressures influenced by Christmastime
  • All the pleasures influenced by Christmastime

Christmastime is a racket because it reminds us why we need Jesus.   

God sent Jesus to live among us and to show us:

How to overcome the racket of commercialization that can overwhelm our lives.

God sent Jesus to live among us and to show us:

How to value the immigrate, the refugee, the enslaved, the poor, the orphan and all who are living in rackets at the margins of life.

God sent Jesus to live among us and to show us:

How to engage God in prayer, as we seek refuge from our problems, and intersession for our family, friends and neighbors who are caught in rackets of their own lives.    

Above all, God sent Jesus – born in a stable, so He could die on a cross to give us salvation from the racket of sin.

The prophet Isaiah, provides the real “sage” advice about the meaning of Christmas.   

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 NIV)

Yep, Lucy was right; Christmastime is a racket.

  • Christmastime with all its glory
  • Christmastime with all its grandeur
  • Christmastime with all its grief

Christmastime is a racket, but it reminds us why we need Jesus.

Merry Christmas and remember that Jesus is reason for the season!

Leave a Reply