“This day… a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord!” (Luke 2:11)
For the next two weeks, I wanted to turn our attention to Christmas. Not that you needed the heads-up… we’ve been seeing “the push” for Christmas, in stores and advertisements, for weeks now.
Christmas is a big deal. But as you may have noticed, it is (mostly) a big deal in all the wrong ways. Retail stores hope to survive the year… until Christmas comes. Our monthly activity calendar gets so full of programs, shopping, and gatherings that we have zero time to just relax and enjoy… anything. Christmas puts us all on the fast track – and demands that we all get “in the race.” Full throttle. Pedal to the metal. Shoulder to shoulder – in all the stressful madness and mayhem.
It seems such a stark contrast to the original message about Christmas when a bunch of angels burst onto the scene to fill the night sky to declare “PEACE on earth.” (Luke 2:14)
And I’m sure you have noticed… (almost) everybody celebrates Christmas. Even people who have never been “religious” are right there… shoulder to shoulder with all the rest of us. Buying. Giving. Gathering. Celebrating. Christmas is just about as universal a celebration as you can get.
It’s about this time when those of us who are “religious” begin talking about “keeping Christ in Christmas,” and about “Jesus being the reason for the season.” But if we are really being honest, it’s hard to tell any difference between those who “keep Christ in Christmas” and those who don’t. We all do the same things. We all spend ourselves into oblivion. We all feel compelled to get together with, and give gifts to, people that we seldom see (or talk to) the rest of the year. (It seems our commitment to strange behavior is also universal!)
I am not so idealistic to think that anything I can say will change any of that. But what I hope to do, in the days ahead, is to give you some seed thoughts that might, just maybe, help you to turn aside from all the madness (if only for a few brief moments) and ponder why Christmas really IS a big deal.
At some point, each of us has to come to the understanding that Christmas was God’s idea… and, somehow, we owe it to Him to give Him the proper place in our minds and in our hearts.
I hope to take us on a journey back into the events and the people of the first Christmas and discover the wonder and the amazement that came to us on that first Christmas night.
Through it all, this year, I hope that this Christmas we might all find Christmas at Christmas, once again.