Last Christmas I was so sad as I walked around a garden centre looking at all the Christmas decorations and paraphernalia, because I could only find one small ‘nativity tableau’ table decoration. It was the only thing in that centre that held any reference to the true meaning of Christmas. A few years before I had been able to walk around and talk about a life size model of Joseph with Mary on a donkey with my grandchildren. Now we have life size singing reindeer, gnomes, loads of unicorns – all lit up – plus life size ‘Santas’ and snowmen. This year too there seem to be ever more, and ever larger ‘Santas’, everywhere. The most recent one I’ve seen being a large blow up one sitting on a plane!!!!
Now I know that we have to come to terms with the fact that the world in which we live wants a mid-winter festival rather than a Christian celebration, driven as it is by commercial interest and competition, but for me the interesting thing is that the world still wants the peace and joy of which the angels sang. The world is looking for the great feelings of Christmas in the wrong place – in the shopping Mall and online buying – but we know where the peace and joy that they are looking for is found, and it is not in spending loads of money.
O.K. So now I hear you saying “this blog is supposed to be about thanksgiving, what’s going on?” I know, but I just had to have a little rant, and since we said yesterday that the angels must so enjoy our gratitude, I feel that they must look with great sadness at the state of our Christmas celebrations. It was, after all, the angels that first brought the message of peace and joy, which still echoes around our world, and for which everyone still longs.
It was the angel of the Lord, breaking dramatically into our world, who said “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people”. He gives the news about Jesus birth, and then a multitude of the heavenly host were there praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”. Luke 2:10,14. How awesome, and how far, far away from our commercial Christmas today, but it doesn’t have to be for us, who know why He came and what He did for us by coming.
So as we run up to Christmas, I am so grateful for a season that causes me to focus on that stupendous sacrifice; the one He made before going to the cross, the one where He ‘Laid aside His Majesty, gave up everything for me.’ The time when He, Jesus, ‘Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.’ Philippians 2:6,7.
If the world is not going to be grateful to Him, I am! Please join me in this season. Instead of bemoaning the loss of a Holy season, let us intentionally give ourselves to thanking Jesus that He came into such a hostile world for us. Such love is incomprehensible, and I believe that as we join the angels, and give ourselves to thanking Him that He came – He didn’t have to, but He came – the wonder of Christmas will be there for us, not because we have lots of coloured lights (which I love by the way) but because His light will shine in our hearts ‘to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’ 2 Corinthians 4:6.