By this evening, the Christmas tree in Pembroke will have been lit. Most of you already have put up your trees and other decorations in your homes. The Christmas season is in full swing, and I, for one, am excited about it.
I do wish the stores would wait until the week of Thanksgiving to decorate, but I also understand that it takes time. I certainly wish we would wait until Friday morning to start the Black Friday rush. My reasoning for that is simple: A high percentage of employees who have to work retail on Thanksgiving night have no choice. Many simply cannot afford to quit. And they are told they must work.
But that is a topic for another day.
The bottom line for me is this: I love the Christmas season. I can remember waking up way too early Christmas morning, going first to my parents’ bedroom and whispering, “Do you think he’s come yet?,” only to be told that I should go back to bed. But then, on my way to my bedroom, I peeked around the corner of the living room. And there, underneath the Christmas tree, were gifts for my sister and me. And I screamed out, “He’s come! He’s come!” By the time I was ready to yell the third time, my little sister was right beside me. And my poor dad…
And then I remember the first Christmas with my firstborn son. You have to understand this: He was not a baby; he was 3 years old for his first Christmas in our home because we adopted him as a toddler. So the rocking horse, Big Wheel and little baseball-pitching machine were real toys that a little boy could enjoy (and our son liked them, too).
But all the while, during this season, I think about what it must have been like on that first Christmas morning. Mary and Joseph were so alone. They must have been filled with doubts and questions. They trusted God, but they could not have understood everything that was happening around them. They must have wondered why they had been chosen. And yet, they remained faithful to the Lord. They simply did what they knew they had been called to do.
I want to be found faithful, too. There are many things that can be said about a person, but one of our highest goals should be to be faithful to the Lord and our spouses, children, parents, friends and neighbors.
God is always faithful. We may not always be. But Paul wrote some really significant words to his friend Titus: “When we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.” What good news that is!
The Lord is faithful. We can trust him. That is the good news of Christmas.