As the last few days before Christmas rapidly close in on us, I hope we take a second to slow down in the midst of the hustle and bustle and reflect on what this celebration is all about. Whether we celebrate with presents, parties, people and Christmas carols, or quietly and in solitude, we must acknowledge there is something different about December 25th. It is a day to be celebrated, whether out of reverence, or joy or merely because it is the norm in our society. I would suggest that it is worthy of celebration because it is a day on which the fabric of the universe was forever changed. As we move ever closer to the celebration of the birth of Christ, let us consider what this feeling of anticipation and eager expectance is all about.
First, we are waiting to celebrate the birth of Christ, the coming of the savior of the world. This appearance of Jesus has already come and we are remembering that some 2,000 years ago God became man and was born into a life like you and I. His coming had been anticipated for hundreds of years and even though we only await its celebration for a few weeks, we are able to consider the gravity of Jesus being “God with us.” God himself entered the world in a specific time and space in order to set us free.
Second, as we prepare for our celebration on this very special Tuesday, we consider the coming of Christ now to each and every one of us, personally. The coming of the baby on Christmas was both the fulfillment of centuries of anticipation and the beginning of a new story, spanning millennia. And this story includes you and I, as we come to Christ in the here and now, so he comes to us, promising a full and abundant life. And his grace and mercy are so great that he shows his love for us even when we don’t show it back.
Last, as we await the 25th, let us consider the future coming of Christ. As we grow together in faith, being drawn deeper into relationship with him, we eagerly anticipate not only the celebration of the birth of Christ this Christmas, but also the return of this messiah. This whole story gives us a complete view of who we are and where we belong. Just as the birth of Christ was and is eagerly anticipated, let us continue to live in eager anticipation of his return.
As we wait for the coming of Christmas, we celebrate Christ’s presence in the past, the present and the future, living with and loving those around us. So let us be thankful in this festive season, in whatever way we celebrate. I’ll end with a quote from G.K. Chesterton that sums it up beautifully: “If my children wake up on Christmas morning and have someone to thank for putting candy in their stocking, have I no one to thank for putting two feet in mine?”