The Christmas season promises lots of shiny things. We get overwhelmed with stuff. It gets awkward when we fill our lives with stuff that has no capacity to love us back. Imediately after the festivities, we wonder is this it? So we crank up iur hopes and begin fresh plans and ideas for the next Christmas! The cycle begins again!
Cycles are the best way the human mind functions, or so society tells us. Speaking of cycles, the last cycle I read in the Bible tells us about the Israelites infamous crossing in their exodus from Egypt. An 11-day crossing turned into a 40-year circuit filled with complaining, reminiscent tales about the food in Egypt (garlic, leeks and onions?!) and a disregard for the wonder of living in God’s awesome company! This crowd witnessed numerius miracles, including God’s favour and sustenance in manna raining down over them, the Ten Commandments and God’s wrath at their disbodience.
The current Christmas celebration traditions started in England in 1843, with the publication of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol.’ The concept of gift giving as published, extended from children to adults. Within a few years and with the marketing of products during the Industrial Revolution, Christmas evolved into a commercial sales season of the year. Toys appeared in stores before Christmas, as manufactured items, with a promise to fulfill the recipients dreams. Christmas has become such a commercial event in our calendars that malls the world over build lavish lighting and tree displays, complete with a Santa and a stockpile of gifts for children.
In contrast, the Bible’s Christmas story introduces us to a Saviour born into a simple, humble, dark, smelly and very true-to-life world. No rosy pictures spring to mind as we think of His birth in a cave, to be revealed to the world from a manger. Yet we can visualize Christ gurgling, gigling, calm, peaceful and content to come into a very turbulent world and redeem His creation! (Read: us).
I love Christmas and the glint it puts jn our eyes. What I strive to, is to present the true purpose of Christmas and how the Light of the World came to us and what that means. My heart asks – are we truly thankful for the bitth of our Saviour, acknowledging Him as the reason for the season or are we building lofty dreams and going in circles? What would Jesus Christ have us to believe and what is the Holy Spirit pointing you to?