#faithbites #faithjourney celebrating
I was just talking to my eldest that tomorrow is Christmas and where has the season gone? She said it seems like only five days since summer. I disagree with that. But she did have a point about the season and Christmas. Are you celebrating Christmas or Jesus’s Birth? Some would say they are one in the same. (I also said Jesus’s birth and not birthday as we could debate the actual date he was born).
For me the Christmas season is music, decorations, gifts, food, family, friends, and fellowship. It’s a warm feeling with traditions, movies, tv shows, and spending time together. It can be a wonderful experience and something we look forward to every year.
For me, celebrating Jesus’s birth is remember that God became flesh in Jesus to live as one of us, to die as a sinner though he had no sin, and to redeem us from sin and damnation. It is a time to reflect on the voice that provided direction after 400 years of silence and the light to lead us out of the darkness.
What are you celebrating?
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Selecting the verses today was hard as the Bible is filled with scripture telling us of why Jesus came, how he saves us, and why we need him in our life. There are also numerous passages regarding celebrating and praising the Lord. We are blessed by the Lord, always.
Now, are we celebrating Christmas or Jesus’s birth? Can you do both? The answer is where is your focus. If the focus on on the presents or the decorations or the food, then you may be missing the point. Instead, if you focus on Christ in all your do, then you can enjoy all of God’s bounty including giving presents, food, music, and celebrations.
The old saying, Keep Christ in Christmas, isn’t trite. This is a case where we can have both. Let’s remember that as we enjoy our company (even if it’s through zoom), our feasts (even if it’s smaller than before), our giving and receiving of gifts (even if there isn’t as much), we need to thank God for everything he has given us.
Thank you Jesus!
Take a few moments during your celebration to praise Jesus and thank God for his Son. We can infuse Christ in all we do. Have fun and remember one more saying, “Jesus is the reason for the season”.
Lord Jesus, our ancestors anticipated you for hundreds of years. We wait for your second coming and pray. We would be lost with out you. Often, we can get caught up in the gift giving and the hustle and bustle of the season. Nudge us, make us remember why we celebrate. Help us to raise our voices on high to you in all our celebrations. We love you and thank you. In your name, Amen.