Christmas Celebration (December Challenge #20)

This is probably my ninth attempt at writing a ‘Christmas post’. I started off writing about what we believe about it, and then it was what we didnt like about it, which turned into what you shouldnt do at Christmas. The main reason those posts will never make it is that, aside from offending half our family, I really don’t care all that much. What I mean is, I dont have any super-strong convictions about the holiday season like some might expect.  I like parties, gifts, family time, Christmas programs, carols and Santa.

That being said, I think its been 3 years since we have had a Christmas tree up, and after 5 years of marraige we do not have any Christmas traditions established that we feel compelled to pass onto our children. However, I dont have any real issues with the holiday. Obviously the consumerism and materialism that accompany this time of year is an issue but honestly, this kind of hysteria is present at other holidays too, so its not so much a Christmas issue as it is a cultural issue.

I would like to post about my favorite aspect of Christmas, however, that is not mentioned in the preceding paragraphs: the incarnation. I always find it astounding that the Word truly became flesh and dwelt among us. The fact that God came down and took on human form and humbled Himself is amazing. The nativity story is precious by itself, but all too often we stop there and do not explain why it is so precious. It is precious because that child in the manger is the Word made flesh! At no other time do we behold the King of Kings in living form. He lived, breathed and died among us and then was resurrected to establish new life for His children. It is the culmination of all the promises foretold by the prophets and the yearning of all of God’s people! What we benefit from Easter began at Christmas. That is why I celebrate Christmas.

Matthew 1 and Luke 2 are the typical Christmas passages, but I find myself meditating over John 1 and Phillipians 2 this time of year instead. I think that is why I love hymns like  ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ this season best of all:

 

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did’st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Praise the Lord for His mercy towards us!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,  and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.  The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.  He came to his own,  and his own people  did not receive him.  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”)  And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

                                    –John 1:1-17

–Kathy

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Christmas Celebration (December Challenge #20)

  1. John

    You gotta love you some John 1:1-17. John is telling the birth story the only way he knew how, Starting with where Christ began, In the Beginning. Augustine said it like this: ” In what way did Christ come but this ‘the word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

    I just did a sermon last sunday on John 1:14, and the importance of the Nature of Christ. Good stuff.

  2. Robin

    I have trouble meshing together what I dislike about the holidays with what I do like and what I should like. It ends up with me just being a scrooge.

  3. The Littlefields

    Yeah, it all seems so tightly wound sometimes, it feels like we should scrap the whole thing. But then, I’d miss christmas cookies, and twinkle lights…

  4. Robin

    Oh, I really love Christmas lights.

    And cookies, too.

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