Christmas time is here. But it’s going to be different this year. A lot of traditions that happen every year will not take place this year. It is through these traditions that we remember our loved ones that have celebrated the season with us in years past. And it’s these traditions that are why we look forward to this time of year. No Christmas parties, no cantata, no gift exchanges, no big family gatherings with huge decadent meals. What’s the point of celebrating Christmas this year at all?
Jesus! The gift of God! The reason for celebrating this time of year is to celebrate the incarnation of God himself, when the timeless entered into time, when man’s relationship with God was restored, and salvation became available for all. This has always been the reason for celebrating. In fact, we get so carried away with the other aspects of the season that we often temper our attitudes with statements that reflect our desire such as “put Christ back in Christmas” and “remember the reason for the season.” We lament the busyness and commercialization of the season, but we never stop participating in it. Those that are a little bit older reminisce about simpler times when Christmas was a holy celebration. And now that many of those things are taken away and we’re getting the opportunity to have a Christmas just like we’ve always wanted, we lament the loss of the busyness with all the parties that never seem to recognize the one we’re supposed to be celebrating.
I invite you to let the traditions go and reinvent this holiday season this year. Take this time to truly reflect on what it means for Jesus to come as a vulnerable child in a cattle stall. reflect on what that life means for you today. We will maintain one traditional service, Christmas Eve candlelight service will still take place, although it may be very different. I invite you to begin reflecting now and celebrating our Lord and Savior. And then come on Christmas Eve as a culmination of your reflection.
I pray that this would be the best Christmas ever. I pray that this would be the year that helps us put Christ back in Christmas and remember the true reason for the season.