I look forward to Christmas every year. It’s all I can do to wait until after Thanksgiving to turn on Christmas lights, put up the tree and play Christmas songs. It does irritate me to see Christmas decorations in the stores alongside Halloween, but I’ve been guilty of sneaking a few peeks at the end of October. I’m a Santa collector and can’t even begin to tell you how many I have
hoarded collected over the years.
But that’s not why I love Christmas. While lights, trees, decorations and music add to the festive atmosphere of the season, I love the message of Christmas more than all the rest of the trimmings. And, that message is not the commercialized version of the holiday that is shoved into the spotlight every year.
Christmas: when love came down to earth to shine light into a dark world. I’m deeply thankful for that love and light in my life.
Jesus is the reason for the season is much too cliche for me….especially since it’s not reasonable to think Jesus was born on the 25th of December. Christmas, as we know it, may have originated as a Christian substitute for pagan celebrations of the winter solstice. Our version of Santa Claus morphed from St. Nicholas of Myra who visited children with gifts just before the celebration of Christmas.
Given that shepherds were in the fields with their sheep, the nativity timeline puts the birth of Jesus in a warmer month. So, are we Christians wasting time celebrating the birth of Christ in December? Not at all. For committed believers, Christmas is carried in hearts and minds all year long. December is actually the perfect month in which to observe the one who was sent to be the light of the world. December, in the northern hemisphere, is cold. December is dark. December is not a season of growth. December is a metaphor for a world filled with fear, worry, political unrest, corrupt governments, violence, hatred, oppression and hopelessness….exactly like it was in the biblical time of the birth of Jesus…exactly like our world now. December is a perfect time to celebrate the birth of the Light of the World.
So, I’m thankful for the message of hope and light Christmas offers every year. It’s why I love Christmas lights. It’s my reminder that no matter how dark and cold the world gets, no matter how hopeless life may look, there is one who was born to conquer the shadows in the dark. He comes to bring calm, comfort, encouragement, enlightenment, justice and hope.
Light affects everything in our lives. Our sun brings light and warmth to give life and make things grow. Knowledge brings enlightenment and clarity to our souls. Just as light keeps us from stumbling in the darkness, the birth of Jesus lights our way so we don’t stumble in life.
God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. ~Genesis 1:4
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. ~John 1:9-10
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. ~John 8:12
Merry Christmas to everyone and may the message of hope and light fill your lives this year and always.
Linking up with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday.