What would become of Christmas?
Christmas is an accomplishment of tremendous proportion. Just visit any shopping mall on Christmas Eve (as I did myself this year) and you will see the multitudes desperately on a quest to accomplish their shopping “objectives” before time runs out. In this, failure is not an option. I can’t not not purchase them a gift.
I wonder in this what the ratio is between gifts that are purchased intentionally versus those purchased desperately? One has thought the other has guilt. ..or at least it seems.
We work so hard at “making” Christmas that we become so distracted by our “making” that we lose sight of that which the Maker of life was creating.
A babe in the straw. Emmanuel. God with us. Has there ever been such an accomplishment as meaningful as this? God became flesh.
But that’s not all He was creating. Oh, that we would take time out during the rush of December to place our hearts onto that of which is truly the why of Christmas.
Certainly in it of itself the birth of Jesus is a day to celebrate in epic proportions. But we have a unique perspective on how this story will play out. We know how this life will turn out. And the harsh reality is that the “otherwise” of this story is not good news for us at all.
Christmas needed to happen. For without it, Easter fails to arrive.
I saw a lot of disappointed people this year on Twitter opining critically about what they did NOT get for Christmas. And for that matter, who among us in our own selfish tendencies have not at least once in our lifetime left Christmas behind with a disappointment for not getting what we wanted? Yet, it only takes days maybe weeks before we no longer even remember that which we wanted in the first place.
I shake my head in shame at even the thought of this. I own this shame for it is I who often has failed to appreciate the things that truly matter in life. It is I who has too often played the game of want for the stuff of earth rather than the things of Heaven.
How foolish. One lives on, the other dies off.
Do we really even know that of which we truly want? What the world wants us to want is not the same as that which the Creator of this world knows that we need. What if my want matched my need?
- For the hungry, that next meal.
- For the thirsty, that next drink.
- For the orphan, parents.
- For the fatherless, a father.
- For the widow, their spouse.
- For the unloved, to be loved.
- For the lost, to be found.
- For the hopeless, a hope.
- For all mankind, a Savior.
Do we really even know that of which we truly need?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:16-17
And the truth is that for the multitudes, they have no idea that this is what they not only need, but somewhere deep inside their very soul, it too… is what they really want. And when I say they, I mean we.
This then reminds me of a great quote I heard once about the difference between a good salesman and a great salesman. In this, perhaps what we all need is a great salesman…
“My Uncle Jack told me that a good salesman sells people what they need but a great salesman awakens the need inside them for something they didn’t know they wanted, but now have to have.” – Bono
Perhaps Christmas is to awaken. Perhaps our response should be to awake.
So, what does become of Christmas?
Mors et vita duello Conflixere mirando Dux vitae mortuus Regnat vivus. (“Death and life have contended in that stupendous combat: The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal”)
Christmas needed to happen. For without it, Easter fails to arrive. This, this is what would become of Christmas. This is what He was creating. How do we miss this every year?
Christmas does not end at midnight on December 25th. For it was Easter that of which brought us the words.. it is finished.
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” – Winston Churchill
Christmas is an accomplishment of tremendous proportion. For in it, we are given the most perfect of gifts. The ultimate in pay it forward gifts. We may not all know this just yet, but in time.. we will. We all will.
Hopefully.. before it’s too late.