A Festivus for the Rest of Us

by Pastor Mark Jordan

Today is Festivus, a fictional holiday created for the “Seinfeld” television program in the 1990s. The gist of it is George Costanza’s father got fed up with Christmas after getting in a fight with another shopper over a toy. He decided to give up on Christmas and start his own holiday — a Festivus for the rest of us.

Festivus is absurd, which made it funny in the show. Festivus began by erecting a large metal pole in the living room dubbed, the Festivus Pole. Then the family shared a meal and participated in the airing of grievances, which was the opportunity to tell everyone how disappointed you are in them. Finally, after the meal, you had the feats of strength, which I imagine to be something like a wrestling match.

As absurd as Festivus was, it is funny because it’s true. All too often we get to this point in the season, and are tired of the craziness…our schedules are over-filled, our bank accounts over-drawn, and our bellies over-indulged. It is exhausting. We don’t need to abandon Christmas, we need to discover it.

Check out this gem from the Bible: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8, NIV).

The Apostle Paul shows us that Christmas isn’t about the festive insanity, but a savior. You don’t need a Festivus pole, because the cradle’s purpose that held baby Jesus pointed to a cross. You don’t need an airing of grievances, because Jesus came to solve your sin problem. And you don’t need feats of strength, because God did all the work ! You just need to accept God’s grace — His unconditional love and favor you can’t earn and don’t deserve — and allow that gift to transform the way you experience Christmas, and every day thereafter.

Let this Festivus miracle be one where you return to Christmas, where God came and promised to come again. He did all the work, taking your sin, and nailing it to a cross. It happened at just the right time, so let this be the moment you accept it and bask in the warmth of God’s Christmas glory.

Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me the times I get trapped in the holiday trappings. Help me to embrace Christmas like never before, allowing it to change and transform the way I see not only this season, but every day of my life. I ask this I Jesus’ name. Amen.

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