We all know that Christmas doesn’t come from a store, but I often wonder how as a parent I can explain that to my kids, especially when I’m just as likely to get swept up with the Jing-Tinglers and Floo-Floobers as the Whos down in Whoville. You can’t deny it, “Christmas” isn’t what it used to be, but if the world has hijacked Christmas, it started long before the Coca-Colas and Amazons of the world decided to cash in.
A lot of scholars believe that Jesus was born in March, not December and certainly not on 25th. They say that the Wise Men didn’t visit the stable, that came later and there were no Christmas trees, that’s said to come from pagan traditions. This is where things get interesting, because way back in the early days of the church it wasn’t the world co-opting Jesus’s birth, it was the church who hi-jacked existing traditions; to help share the good news the meanings of events and symbols were changed to point to Jesus.
Today the star, the lights and the presents that surround our trees aren’t an offering to a pagan god, today they point to Jesus and remind us the events leading up to his birth.
Isaiah 9 says
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone… For to us a child is born, to us a son is given
That light is so strong that 2000 years later, despite the best attempts of this world, it has not been extinguished or polluted. Even the best attempt at a secular, commercialised Christmas can’t stop there being a little piece of the Gospel light shining through.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more! And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say That the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!
When things are darkest light has the greatest impact and no light is greater than yours Lord. Help us to carry even a little of that light with us as we go about day.