Yes, it’s that time of year again. There are pressies to buy, cards to write and decorations to retrieve from the loft. Then there’s the tree; do you go for a real one, or the thing you bought from Woolies years ago? Better not forget to order a turkey for the Big Day. Wonder what’s going to be on telly? A Doctor Who special, I guess and other seasonal treats. And then there’s the music. Stuff about sleigh bells, snow and Santa. “‘Tis the season to be jolly”, and we invest a huge amount of time, energy and dosh into making sure that Christmas is the happiest time of all.
“I wish it could be Christmas everyday” hollers the old Wizard hit. But who apart from wide-eyed little kids really thinks that? Once a year is quite enough, thanks. Anything else would drive us crackers. Yes, it’s fun while it lasts. Family gatherings, giving and receiving gifts, and a slap up Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. What’s not to like? But doing it all again everyday? “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...” in July? Maybe not.
In any case, even with all we throw at it, the joys of Christmas fizzle out all too soon. Perhaps that’s because we’ve forgotten the “reason for the season”. We all know that Jesus wasn’t in fact born on 25th December, but that’s the date on which we traditionally celebrate his coming into the world. His birth was announced by the angel of the Lord to some unsuspecting shepherds. They were rather startled at the sight of the angelic being, but he reassured them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord.”
The birth of Jesus was an occasion of great joy because he had come as the Saviour. There is a direct line between Christmas and Easter. The Son of God came into the world as a human being in order to die on the cross for our sins and rise again so that we may be put right with God. The gifts we give and receive at Christmas time are a pale reflection of the greatest Gift God has given to the world, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” For those who receive God’s gift of Jesus, the joy of Christmas is not just for everyday, but for eternity. Really.
See here for info on Providence and Ebenezer Christmas services.
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