4th-week-of-advent

It’s easy to get the wrong impression about all this Christmas stuff. Watching round-the-clock sappy Hallmark Christmas movies, being mesmerized by inspirational Christmas stuff, lulled by the crackle of the fire, the smell of peppermint and other spices, the sweet sound of jingling bells…. None of those things is what Christmas is about. Let’s look at some of the misconceptions we seem to have about Christmas.

First, of course, Christmas is all about peace.  Wrong!  But…but…but… what about the angels? They said “peace on earth.” Yes. They definitely did. But look around you. Do you see any peace? No! You do not! And do you know why? Because this world is a place of constant conflict, especially for the believer. The message of peace the angels delivered was all about the hope of being made right with God that the birth of the Christ made possible. Because of Jesus, we no longer have to be at war with God, we no longer have to be His enemy. Now, we can be at peace with Him.

Okay, so then Christmas is all about being with family and friends. Wrong!  Not even close! Without God, we are desperately alone, surrounded by darkness. The night Christ was born was an amazing night. For over 500 years God’s presence had been absent from this world. Ezekiel describes God’s presence leaving His temple, and that was the last time He was seen or heard from (biblically speaking) until Christ burst forth as a tiny human child, heralded by a choir of angels who were certainly celebrating the return of God’s glory to earth. So no, Christmas is not about being with family and friends. It is about celebrating God’s glorious presence in our midst.

Well, no one can say that Christmas is not about children. Actually, yes, I can say with great confidence that Christmas is definitely not about children. Unless you are referring to the wicked children that we were before Christ saved us. Without God’s presence, this world, and our lives, is empty of any real goodness. The world has this misconception that childhood is a time when things are pure and right and good, to the point where children are revered and glorified, yes, even worshipped. Instead, Christmas is a wonderful time to teach children to revere and honor and glorify the King of Kings.

Why am I intent on bursting your Christmas bubble? Because Christmas is so much more than Christmas. We are so prone to get distracted by all the expectations that we tend to have for Christmas. It’s a holiday that can completely dominate our thoughts and our schedules this time of year. But the best way to celebrate this most precious of events is with a quiet heart, in a quiet room, enjoying the intimacy of dwelling with our Savior. Christmas is what makes this personal relationship possible- not just for a night in December, not just for this lifetime, but for eternity. That’s what Christmas is all about.