Have you ever thought Christmas and the month of December were more trouble than they are worth; too much shopping, wrapping, cooking, working, visiting, eating, etc etc? You are not alone. But there is good news. It still is the greatest event that has ever taken place in human history.
December means different things to different people. For the Jewish people there is the special moveable Feast of Lights Hanukah (which goes according to Jewish calendar); and there is ordinary life as in any other the run of the mill month such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
However it certainly seems the month of December is dominated by Christmas. It is a time of anticipation (mostly children), to others it is a time of mayhem (mostly parents), to college students a time of great joy as they are off for weeks (for which parent’s have paid dearly through the nose).
To the retailers of America it is a time of great hope, a time where Christmas sales will enable them to perhaps enter 2012 in the black.
However, for the Christian, along with Easter, Christmas is the pivot upon which our faith rests. The Babe in the manger was God condescending to take on flesh. The Babe grew into a man who at 30 years of age went around preaching salvation and reconciliation to God. Jesus showed God’s compassion by performing miracles and healings. Three years later, the religious leaders out of jealousy, had Him crucified. Jesus was buried in a stranger’s grave, and on the third day arose again. This all began with the Christmas story.
As the Angel told Joseph,.. “Mary will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS , for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21).
Some call Christmas a magical time of the year. If we change magical to divine, it is more fitting. For it is all about the divine love of the Father sending His Divine Son that men might be saved, that God might be with us (the meaning of the name Immanuel).
That’s as divine as it can get—God With Us. In that manger was God Himself–fully God, fully man–a divine mystery.
This indeed makes Christmas a time of celebration. Rejoice as you listen once again to the message of the angels …
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:10-14).