We are only a few days away from Christmas Day. I have to admit a couple of things to you. I love the Christmas season, and everything about it. Even as I think about the empty chairs and dinner table, and still am enamored by the lights, trees, decorations, music and pageantry of it all.
Most of all, I am in love with the one who left his throne in glory in order to be born in a stable, placed in a manger, raised in poverty and eventually taken to the cross for my sins. As I think about Christmas Day (and yes, I am aware that it is beyond unlikely that Jesus was born in December), I simply am overwhelmed by the grace, mercy and love of God, who did something brand-new on the first Christmas Day.
I also have to admit this to you. By the end of the season of Christmas, I am completely and utterly exhausted.
Our church will have had five Sunday evenings filled with special events. I will have hosted and attended parties, both for church and family. One tradition that Tina and I keep every year is to attend the Christmas show at the Savannah Theatre (oh, I highly recommend that show to anyone). And in the midst of it all, we celebrate our wedding anniversary.
(In answer to the question, who in their right mind gets married Dec. 22? I would simply respond, “Two 20-somethings who are in love and not thinking”).
In the midst of all that we do in December, it is so easy to forget the why. While it may sound trite to some, Jesus really is the reason for the season.
While we know he likely was born during another time of the year, this is the time that we have set aside to honor him in a different kind of way. And so we sing, give gifts and decorate as we celebrate the savior’s birth.
And along the way, we encounter some who simply do Christmas for another reason. Perhaps they spend too much money buying things they do not need to impress people they do not like. But whatever the case, they may be open to hearing the Gospel in this time of year.
As you celebrate, think of a friend or a family member who needs to hear the true message of Christmas. Tell them the story. Invite them to worship with you. But do what you can to reach out.
What a marvelous time of year to hear the Gospel message for the first time!