Let’s Celebrate…Daily! Christmas in New Zealand, Part 3

by | May 4, 2017 | Christmas, Christmas in New Zealand, Worship

Just because Christmas is celebrated in the summer in New Zealand doesn’t make it any less important. In fact, some New Zealanders can’t get enough of Christmas, and they celebrate it twice a year: Once on December 25th, during summer time, and the other time in July, in the middle of winter. Amazingly, many hotels and restaurants also join the celebration and decorate for the festivities.

This past August, while visiting Nova Scotia, Canada, I encountered a town that I thought had adopted the New Zealand’s mentality of celebrating Christmas twice a year! The town of Wolfville was decorated to the hilt. Christmas trees, Christmas wreaths, lights and numerous other Christmas decorations were everywhere throughout the town.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Until I discovered the real reason behind the apparent festivities, that is! They were filming an upcoming movie called November Christmas! (I’m not sure why they were filming it in August!)

To me, we should celebrate Christmas not just once or twice a year, but every day. Didn’t Jesus come to this planet just for you and me? Someone cared so much for us that He willingly came for us, died for us, and rose on the third day, just to let us know that He was waiting for us in heaven, that He is building a home for each one of us up there (See John 14:2-4). This is reason enough for me to celebrate Jesus daily!

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Mat 1:21 NIV) Or in other words: Jesus saved me from my own sins!

I have never encountered anyone as unselfish as Jesus. Look what He said when His last Passover was at hand: “I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.'” (Matt 26:18b NIV). Do you know how He celebrated Passover that year? He hung on a cross just to save us, to save you and me!

In one of his parables, Jesus explained about the most important celebration in heaven: “Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:23-24 NIV). Any time anyone of us finds our way home to heaven’s gate, there is a big jubilation: “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

We have reason to celebrate, not only at Christmas time, but daily. The One from heaven has come into our neighbourhood to not only show us our way home, but to make sure we know beyond a doubt that we will be welcomed there. He did this by dying for our sins, for your sins and mine, so that though we have no righteousness of our own, we can be declared righteous. His merits cover us from our own shame, and when we accept His offer, He looks into our eyes and calls us “my children”.

How can I resist such a love! How can I not celebrate it daily! The One who is the Lover of my soul had come for me! He has filled my heart with utter acceptance and jubilation! To me this means so much more that all the presents I receive on Christmas. The biggest gift anyone longs for is acceptance and love, and these are being given to me daily by the One we celebrate on Christmas day.

May this Christmas season extend to the rest of your year. Jesus loves you and yearns for you. How will you respond to Him?

Rob Chaffart

(To access the entire “Christmas in New Zealand” devotional series, please click here.)


Let’s Celebrate…Daily! Christmas in New Zealand, Part 3