Decorations. Music. Food. Gifts. Family time. Movies. Shopping. Cards. Trees. Candy. Friends. Stockings. The Christmas season is so full of goodness and happiness that it often passes by in a whir and is over before we know it!
I know for me (being a PK), my Christmas seasons are normally filled with Church- delivering leaflets, decorating the building, filling bags of popcorn, heating mince pies, setting up for services, attending the services, tidying up after the services… you get the idea! And I know this may sound strange (considering the fact I’m basically at Church all Christmas) but I can sometimes get so caught up with everything going on, but I actually forget to dwell on the reason for the season!
Whatever your Christmas looks like- whether it’s busy or not- it can be far too easy to get sucked into the worldly celebration of Christmas and forget what the festivity is all about! Often we forget the reason for the season… Jesus!
It can be funny to think about. If you look at it from the outside, what we’re actually celebrating is the birth of a baby. A baby born to a virgin in a stable surrounded by sheep and cows and a donkey. A baby visited not by friends and relatives but by shepherds and astrologers. A baby wrapped in a swaddling cloth and laid to sleep in a manger- literally the trough the cows and pigs ate out of.
But here’s the twist… that baby was to be the Saviour of the world. He was the Messiah and the Son of God. This baby was the fulfilment to God’s promises to send a saviour. Someone who would make right our sin and provide a way for us to once again have a relationship with God.
And that, my friends, is the reason for the season.
The reason we celebrate Christmas is not so we can receive presents or eat a nice meal. It’s not so we can visit family or have time off school. And it’s not even about the decorations or the Christmas markets.
It’s so we can remember that special baby, born in a stable in the little town of Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. It so we can remember Him, but also so bow down and worship Him because of everything He has done for us and the sacrifice He made.
Luke 2:19 tells us ‘But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.’
Isn’t that such a beautiful image? Mary understood the beauty of the birth of Jesus and dwelt on it quietly in her own heart, thanking God for the gift of her son.
So my encouragement to you this season is to be like Mary. Take some time out of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season and ponder the meaning behind it. Read the Christmas story and spend some time in prayer, thanking God for everything.
And above all, don’t forget that Jesus is the reason, my friends.