Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the church
There was no tree a shinin’
Not a willow, not a fir, not a birch.
I don’t know the rest of the poem, but let me tell you more of what Christmas means to me…
- Times together as families — special times
- Bonus times together as church and school
- Letters and pictures and cards
- Struggling and stressing to know what to give to others
- Stressing about juggling schedules and plans and revisions
- Overkill of parties and programs, of events and activities
- Sale upon sale after sale — and some extra-low prices on some things you actually need
- Indulgence of the flesh — overindulgence, really
- Eat, drink, and be merry
- Performances and carolers
- Pretty lights and manger scenes
- Christmas trees, Salvation Army bell-ringers, and some fat chimney sweep with sandy claws (or something)
- A special season for the party animal
- Giving mostly to those who can give in return
- Buying what you can’t afford for those who might not need or appreciate what you gave them anyway
- Comparing — what I got vs what you got, what I gave vs what you gave
- The poor feeling (what? intimidated, diminished, eclipsed, joyful?) at the (what? generosity, excess, happiness, satisfaction?) of the rich
- Much money spent on entertainment and on supporting entertainers
- Something for which I doubt the early church had an equivalent
- A season of too much generous greed — Season’s Greedings
- Merry Christmas!
For me, there’s Christmas and there’s Christ’s birth.
- They’ve come to mean different things to me.
- So let me tell you some of what Christ’s birth means to me
Nativity — the Navidad part of “Feliz Navidad”
- Another step in the fulfillment of the promise of Genesis 3:15, the promise of a coming One who would bruise the head of the Serpent
- Another part of God’s best plan for our redemption
- The sacrifices of a mother and her husband…and the Child
- The arrival at last of the Lowly Servant and the powerful Redeemer
- Peace on earth; goodwill to men
- A phase in the humiliation of God
- The greatest becoming one of the least
- A certain setting aside what was His — glory, equality with the Father, power, heaven
- “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6)
- And yet “His own received Him not” (John 1:11)
- “The glory as of the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14)
- When the Child came, “grace and truth came” (John 1:17)
- The Word, the Almighty, the I AM, Jehovah — made flesh
- The Creator in a baby’s body all His own
- Emmanuel — God with us
- Feliz Navidad!
I probably won’t get all that said tonight. I doubt five minutes is enough time. We’ll see.