What is it about Christmas that conjures up warm memories, yet at the same time a little anxiety at the thought of everything that needs to be done? Our parent’s generation embraced what they called the most wonderful time of the year with seemingly little effort. That of course comes from a child’s perspective.
I’m still in awe of my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who made Christmas meaningful, yet struck a balance to ensure we understood what we were celebrating.
Have you noticed that by comparison people today seem harried, stressed and even triggered—as one newspaper recently reported—by the prospect of getting ready for Christmas? Why?
Could it be that late 20th and 21st century Christmas preparations have changed the focus of our celebration?
Only the Bible provides the true perspective. Have a look at one of Isaiah’s prophecies and the counterpart in the book of Matthew.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.”
“The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”
Undoubtedly, this solitary fact—that the Light of the world entered our human experience some 2,000 years ago—is the foundation for celebrating Christmas (cf. Lk. 2). The Western world celebrates the one holiday associated with Jesus Christ’s birth on the 25th of December. It’s appropriate to observe the day with festivities.
But, we don’t need the trappings. They are optional. Don’t get me wrong. Our house is full of the aroma of simmering mincemeat and baking cookies. And every year, I feel nostalgic about much of Christmas, especially the lights.
We can, however, choose to relinquish activities that cause unnecessary stress and often undermine the real reason for the season.
This year, enjoy the lights, indulge in the warmth of the season, but take time to prepare your heart and mind. Focus on the Word of God and bask in the glow of the true Light of Christmas!
P.S. My new series called Bask in the Glow—Devotions for Christmas will be available daily throughout the month of December on the homepage of the Olive Tree Alliance website.
1) Christmas Candlelight. (Images used for illustrative purposes) (Image credit: Pixabay/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios)
Copyright © 2019 Charles E. McCracken, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.