Well, Thanksgiving and Black Friday have come and gone and Advent is here and Christmas music is playing all around us, so I guess it’s okay to write about it. So, here’s my first volley.
I love having conversations about Christmas and all the ways we struggle against how Christmas is mishandled. Some people vehemently dislike the fact that people say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Others get up in arms about using “Xmas” instead of “Christmas”. Neither one bothers me. I’m thankful when someone wishes me happiness, they could just ignore me. And “X” is the Greek letter that begins the word “Christ” in that language, so it has been used for centuries as an abbreviation so Xmas = Christmas. Even if people don’t mean it that way, I can see it that way and be perfectly happy.
What I enjoy most is talking, like I did this morning, about the reason for the season. I see bumper stickers and signs that say “Jesus is the reason for the season” – but I think those signs are wrong. Jesus’ birth may be the focus of the season, but the reason for the season is YOU.
Jesus didn’t come to make a name for himself. Jesus came to make a name for you – and that name is “child of God”.
YOU (and me) are the reason for the season.
The season is not about you or me in the way we often think about it – like, “what did you get me?” It’s about y0u and me in the sense that we remember that the one who was born was born to be “God with us”, to be the one who saves us from our sin and gives us abundant life. When we think about it properly the question changes from, “What did you get me?” to “What can I give to you (Jesus) knowing how much you gave for me?”
I hope we all find ways to give ourselves to the One who was born into this world and gave himself for us. If you’re not sure what that means, just start by giving yourself to those who need joy and peace in a real way.
Holy high-five to you,