A sanctuary overflowing with standing room only…families gathered, young and old…a spectrum of anticipation ranging from reverence and thanksgiving to cherub glee, as Christmas Eve can only mean that the magic of Christmas morning is but moments out of reach. Candles lit, the praise team’s instruments fall quiet as the congregants finish the final verse of Silent Night, a cappella. Yes, this is Christmas Eve.
Among the commercial grandeur and holiday haste, it’s easy to fall victim to distraction. A secular approach to Christmas is laced with excitement and anticipation, but…of what? True Christmas has nothing to do with shopping malls, Amazon, or a jolly sleigh pilot from somewhere north of Cleveland.
“Advent” means “coming.” In this Advent Season, we celebrate the coming of Jesus. And it is not so much a simple celebration of His birth as it is a recognition of the miracle of His birth – and with anticipation of His promised return.
You see, had it not been for Christ’s miraculous birth to Mary; had He not lived as He lived; and had He not died and risen as He did, there would be no Christmas. The true faith, hope, and promise of Christmas is that God saw fit to give of His only Son, sending Him here to walk among us and be persecuted for our sins, so that we may find eternal life in Him, follow Him, and await His return.
And so, consider that the greatest gift we celebrate each Christmas is the gift of our savior, Jesus. And once the wrapping paper is nearly destroyed and discarded, the feast is over, and it’s time for the many lights and decorations to come down, the holiday may be over, but the promise of His gift endures as unconditional love, world without end.
Merry Christmas to all.