First, let me say Merry Christmas to whoever may be stopping by!
Second, if you would, ponder what this season and Christmas day mean for you. We’ve all seen a variety of expressions regarding Christmas day, from the focus on the birth of Christ, to the “season of giving”, to the busiest retail shopping period of the year. Many times we think of Christmas related to family – you, like many, may read the Christmas story as a family before opening gifts. You may have a tradition of attending a Christmas Eve church service before sharing a family meal. Or you may spend the time in quiet reflection or even volunteering to organizations that serve those less fortunate in life. However you spend today, or Christmas day itself, does it reflect a means of bringing peace to your heart or that of others? Is what you do and how you do it a reflection of the love of Christ, or a means of helping you feel better about yourself?
We don’t have a specific tradition in our home. Often, either before or after opening our gifts, we lament that fact that we are fairly self-centered and should have used our time to help others, not just our funds. But once the time is past, so is that feeling and we move on again toward another year. If we’re fortunate to have time with family, it’s often a time of laughter, lots of food, and an intense focus on the children. Yet, that too, is rather short lived.
The coming of Christ, is truly a remarkable event. It is not just the birth of a savior that we celebrate, it is the birth of a new way of being, a new way loving, a new way of interacting with others at every level. This year, as I think of this time, I am amazed at how relevant the birth of Christ was to humanity as a whole. Not only did he bring a new way of relating to God, he brought a new way of living out that relationship. He forced us to look at who we were in the created order and just how much and how far God was willing to go to redeem his not so righteous creation. The birth of Christ is not just savior oriented, but serving oriented. It was not just a moment in time for the greatest man who ever lived, it was an eternal moment when man could achieve his own “greatness” as it was intended to be. A time to reflect on all that God is and all that God offers.
I may not have gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But I do have a life that allows me to flesh out the significance of the babe who came. Now the question is – will I fulfill that with faithfulness?