With the ending of the Thanksgiving holiday and before the leftover turkey has a chance to spoil, we are off and running into Christmas 2015! Black Friday (which started last Monday), Cyber Monday (which started on Saturday), and all the other oddly-named days between tell us that commercially at least, the countdown to Christmas day has begun.
Maybe for you Christmas begins with a groan as you crawled into your attic or waded through your garage to locate boxes of decorations put away last year. Already for some the battle to untangle Christmas lights or the struggle to reassemble the artificial tree or to stabilize the fresh pine tree or the effort to locate the leak in your gigantic 12- foot- tall blowup snowman signal Christmas has begun in your house!
We all have a memory, a song, a scent, a taste that signals the onset of Christmas season. It may be a pleasant time for some, and a painful time for others. Sometimes Christmas tightens the family bonds loosened by neglect throughout the year and sometimes Christmas accentuates our loneliness or the pain of a fractured relationship.
But however it comes, and whatever it brings, Christmas is upon us. This year I hope we can walk through Christmas with purpose, and not miss the richness of what the season really represents. I know we hear cries of “Keep Christmas in Christmas” each year. We reply to store clerks who benignly wish us “Happy Holiday” with “Merry Christmas!” Already this year we’ve gone to war over Starbucks cups leaving Christmas symbols off their cups.
And yet if we’re honest, we must confess our own guilt as believers by leaving Jesus out of the celebration of His coming to the earth which is far, far worse than the world doing it. How can we truly keep Christ as the center, Christ as the reason, Christ as the purpose of Christmas in our celebrations this year?
Maybe before we go much further into the season, that thought deserves our attention.
“All this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘Behold the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’” (Matthew 1:22-23)
Think of one way that you, as a Christ-follower, or your family, can bring Christ to your neighborhood or your workplace this year?