‘Tis the Season…
Every year at this time, we become inundated with movies and television shows about Christmas. If you are a child and watch these shows, you will be convinced that evil people are lurking everywhere just waiting on their opportunity to “steal” Christmas.
Really, isn’t that the plot to every show? Christmas is in danger of not coming…but wait, Charlie Brown, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, The Great Pumpkin, The Easter Bunny and Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick all team up to defeat the hideous Chieftain Underlords of “Christmas Haters Local Union 221!” How many times can Christmas be saved?
And then we sing songs…
From The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: “we’ll tell scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago…” (Sorry dude, that’s Halloween)
Then we sing a song about a snow man that dies at the end of the song. (It’s the "He Stopped Lovin' Her Today" of the Holiday Season)
And don’t you know that Mary just got baby Jesus to sleep and was ready for a latte and a bubble bath when The Little Drummer Boy showed up? (I actually had a grown up ask me where to find the story of the little drummer boy in the Bible…seriously)
And then there’s Ebenezer Scrooge. The name alone boils the blood of every eggnog-swillin’, colored-light-hangin’, hall-deckin’, tinsel-lovin’ Clark Griswold in the world. Who wouldn’t dislike a miserable old soul, who’s not only on a downward spiral to despair, but is furious that he can’t take everyone on the journey with him? And while there is little in my life that parallels his, I agree with him on one point…
Christmas has lost its focus.
Every year we attempt to make Christmas bigger and better than last year. Every year we take the holiday season to the next level on the absurdity scale. Every year we are challenged by retailers to thoughtlessly do more spending on things with less meaning. And since most of us lost the ability to think for ourselves sometime during the Clinton administration, we just foolishly allow ourselves to be sucked in.
Wake up everyone! NEWSFLASH: Christmas is about a baby.
Its about a baby who was God. That’s right, the same God who created everything we see and know, stepped out of heaven, emptied himself of his glory, and became part of His creation. Why, you ask? For the same reason Christmas has become so hideously overdone…we didn’t get it!
We didn’t get it…that a Holy God just wanted the people He loved to be holy too.
We didn’t get it…that we needed the intervention of perfection to cover our disproportionate flaws.
We didn’t get it…that forgiveness was on the tips of our tongues.
We didn’t get it!
So God chose the necessary over the convenient. He sent His Son…to be a baby. He sent His Son…to be an example of His love. He sent His Son…to start a revolution of righteousness. He sent His Son…to become sin on our behalf. He loved us so much that he would become a baby and hope that through His perfection, maybe somebody would “get it.”
You see, instead of trying to “one-up” last year and make Christmas more exciting…maybe we should realize that the story we have to tell about this baby is exciting enough. You see, I don’t get stoked over lights, tinsel, trees, and eggnog. I get stoked when I hear the story of a cold night, a barn, and a God who leapt from the starry midnight sky and landed in the arms of a teenage girl. I get stoked that God came near.
Here's part of the "story of the baby..."
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High." (Luke 1:30-32)
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:11)
...and that's enough.