“Christmas”. In earlier years, Christmas was associated with holidays (it’s summer down here), tenting, swimming and lazing at the beach, extra time with Dad (who wasn’t working), excitement, maybe a visit to the hydroslides (oh what joy). Later it meant a snatched day off, as money had to be earned for life and study. Now the tables are turned, and in my children I observe the same anticipation, excitement and delight that I felt when young, but now I’m the Dad who would rather sit and read quietly rather than be dragged to the beach or the pool, and I look back down the years and realize what it must have been like for my parents. You work hard all year, and then when holidays come you need to work even harder. Interesting times indeed.
But there’s much more to Christmas in my family–past and current–than the mere taking of holidays, definitely more than Vodafone’s dumb campaign about the “Silly Season” … It is a time to recall the birth of the Lord Jesus, to remember His life and sacrifical death, and to catch a renewed vision of His glorious working in my life and the times in which I live.
Perhaps some of those called to the census in Bethlehem all those years ago took the opportunity for a mere holiday–it was a change and a break from normality–and perhaps some of the rougher crowd did silly things on the way and while there. And yet, for those caught up in what was really going on, the shepherds and later the wise men, it wasn’t holidays or sillyness that motivated midnight journeys and camel treks, but a collaboration with God in His redemptive purposes for a sinful world. In retrospect, many missed out on a far greater and long-lasting happiness (eternity is a long time).
Maybe in your world this Christmas there is only room for “holidays” or “sillyness”, but the far greater option remains. While there was “no room” for Joseph and his very pregnant wife, my hope and prayer for all is that God would create new room in you for His Son.
May you know Jesus, the Reason for the Season. Happy Holy-days.