Christmas 2009

15 Dec

I’ve heard from several people this year that “It just doesn’t seem like Christmas this year!” Now, I must admit, I am at a special advantage because my son is 27 months old this Christmas and he is very much understanding enough about Christmas to be very excited about it this year. Which makes it very easy for me to get excited since we have been blessed after so many years of not having children. But I am forced to ask myself, “What makes it “seem like Christmas?” Is it having a child around to get excited about trees and presents? Is it having the house all decorated with lots of lights and tinsel, and the smell of baked goodies? Yes, these things all carry some very powerful memories and a strong sense of the celebration of Christmas.

But what is Christmas anyway? Some may argue with me, but there is no escaping what the popular, historical, traditional Christmas celebration is all about… the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ-the Son of God. God who came to man as a man.

I recently read this anonymous quote and thought it so powerful:

“He who is the Creator became a creature.  He who is eternal allowed himself to be bound by time.  He whom the heavens can’t contain was enclosed in a woman’s womb.  He who is clothed in majesty was born in a cattle trough. He who is the sovereign God became dependent on a human man and woman for his food and clothing. He who had spoken whole worlds and galaxies into existence had to depend upon baby cries to communicate.  The God of the universe became a baby.”

This to save me from myself, my sin, separation from God. Does that not make your insides jump? This is the season we are in. I heard on the radio yesterday that 90% of the people in the United States are celebrating Christmas. Some are celebrating family and the bonds of love. Some are celebrating that they are getting things that they have longed to have all year. Some are celebrating that they can have parties and gather with friends and have “fun” drinking and doing crazy things. But almost everyone at least acknowledges Linus’ sermon in the Peanuts cartoon that Christmas involves the baby Jesus and shepherds, and wisemen, and angels singing. But I think that unless we can really see the powerful truth in the above quote that “the Creator became a creature…”, to ultimately die a horribly painful death on a wooden cross, to pay for my sins, then we may find it too easy to say, “It just doesn’t seem like Christmas to me.”
If we truly believe that that statement is true, that He did it for ME. How can it not feel like Christmas. I don’t care what we may be lacking in our traditional celebration of the season, which as I stated are all worthy additions and expressions of celebration, but they are all in truth completely irrelevant to the celebration we are professing. All those things may come and go as the seasons of our life change. But we dare not set our heart on the method of celebration and lose track of the reason for the celebration.
I have gone through seasons in my almost 50 years of life when I have had plenty, and others when I have had just enough to get by.  Especially since getting married to my amazing wife 22 years ago. We have gone around the world to celebrate, and we have had frozen TV dinners to celebrate, but we have always had each other. Some of the most memorable times have been the times with the least. Because it isn’t about the temporary stuff. Celebrating Jesus’ birthday is celebrating my reconciliation with God. What else really matters? But God in His Father’s heart of love has blessed us in so many ways, to have so many ways to celebrate. I will always desire to spend Christmas with family, rice crispy cookies, Grandma’s handmade Christmas ornaments and stockings, Christmas trees, friends, good food, laughter, etc. But my sense of celebration is always set upon the foundation of the “Reason for the season”, the birth of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us, as the Bible states it:

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas!
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One Response to “Christmas 2009”

  1. Mom and Dad December 16, 2009 at 4:26 PM #

    If anyone who reads the afore outlined comments from our Son, and does not get a warm and tender feeling, and….. know how proud of him we are as parents, just doesn’t…”get it”. Well…we get it and I am sure you do too. Son…God has blessed you with wisdom,love and a fine talent for composition of thoughts. God bless an carry on.

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