It’s been kind of sad to me that at least two people have told me that they were glad Christmas was over. In some ways I can understand what they mean – it can be a very busy and stressful time (probably not the type of celebration the Lord had in mind), and after months of hype, it can seem like Christmas will never just hurry up and get here and stop cluttering up our schedules.
But why do we stop saying, “Merry Christmas” after December 25th? Why do the Christmas music radio stations yank the Christmas songs at midnight on the 25th and everyone rush to plan their New Years Rockin’ Eve? It seems to me that December 25th marks the beginning of a season of celebration, a season of rejoicing that our King has come, not the end. Christmas day should be merely the start of the party. My friend David has “Joy to the World” as his ring tone all year long because Jesus’ coming is joyous news both in December and in July.
Isaiah 9 tells us that unto us a child is born, to us a son has been given, and He shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. If you are confused, He is the counselor. Weak? He is the Mighty God. Alone? He is the Father who has brought you into His family. Anxious? He is the Prince of Peace. The Lord of light and life has come, humble and weak, yet possessing the very life of God that He will one day give to us, and I think we turn off our celebratory lights way too soon.
I am not sure we know how to celebrate well in our culture. We love events, but as soon as one is over, we dash off to the next one, relishing in the build-up and the hype so much that the event itself never delivers, leaving us empty and moving on to the hope that the next party might do the trick. (Are the heart-shaped boxes of candy on display in Wal-mart yet, because there are only 45 shopping days left until Valentines Day?)
Will you join me in lingering over the wonder of Emmanuel, God with us? Joy to the world, let earth receive her king, this day and every day.