I love Christmas time. For a lot of reasons. I love the spirit of joy that seems to be in the air this time of year. I love the sound of the Salvation Army bells outside the stores. I love the wonder in my kids’ eyes at the enormity of inflatable yard decorations and the twinkle of lights on houses. I love giving (and perhaps getting) gifts from those I love. I love Christmas songs. I love Christmas cookies. I love time away with my family. And, truth be told, I love watching Hallmark Christmas movies with Alyson. If we didn’t live in Texas, I’d say I love the snow too. Bryan Adams was right:
There's something about Christmas time
Something about Christmas time
That makes you wish it was Christmas everyday
But, alas, it cannot be Christmas everyday. Even Hallmark takes a break for half a year. Although I love Christmas time for all these reasons, they only last for the season of Christmas.
But - this is probably no surprise to you - none of these are the main reason I love Christmas time. I love Christmas time because Christmas time is the season of Advent. “Advent” simply means “arrival.” Christmas time marks the arrival of Christ into the world. It’s the time of year we spend four weeks dwelling and meditating on the real wonder, the real “something” about Christmas time: the incarnation - when the Son of God became a man.
The “something” about Christmas is the incredible humility of Jesus. And there’s more to that “something” than Jesus’s birth. It’s one thing for God’s Son to become a baby. It’s another thing for him to die. Jesus exercised humility in his birth, throughout his life, and ultimately in his death to “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). We could even say that Jesus’s sacrifice began at Christmas, and was completed at Easter.
“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8 ESV)
Each Sunday during Advent we will celebrate the real “something” about Christmas time together. On Sunday mornings we will walk through the narrative of Jesus’s birth & early years in Matthew 1 and 2. I encourage you to read our church’s Advent devotions, which will further your worship of Christ this season. Our Advent celebration will culminate with a special Candlelight service on Sunday, December 22 at 5:00 p.m. This is a perfect opportunity to invite extended family, co-workers, and neighbors to join you at church and to show them why there’s “something” about Christmas time.
- Pastor Jonathan