Who came up with December 25 as Christmas Day anyway? Four days after the shortest day of the year. The sun sets sooner. The outdoor lights come on. Whoopee.
I drive down one block to get to and from my house where everyone on both sides of the street is trying to better the Disney electric parade. It’s supposed to cheer me up, but all it does is remind me that I don’t have my lights up yet, and maybe won’t get to them this year. What kind of neighbor am I?
It’s no secret that Christmas can heighten depression. Separations, divorces, deaths, financial stress, loss of employment, and family grudges put everyone on high alert at Christmastime. Impossible expectations can bury you in gloom. As a kid, I used to count the days until Christmas; as an adult, I count the days until it’s over, and finally, nothing more can be done. The joy of Christmas morning is that you can finally put to rest that feeling that you could always do more.
Want to feel better? Think about what it would be like if Jesus had never been born. Then all this would be a hoax and the cruelest joke would be that there is no real reason for the season except to turn retail around for the year. Then there would be no hope, no peace, no forgiveness of sins, no eternal life, no Holy Spirit to comfort and guide, no knowledge of God, no possibility of change.
Focus on Jesus. It really did happen. The shepherds, the angels, the wise men, the virgin birth — it’s all true. As true as your skin and the blood running through your veins.
Santa may or may not come, depending on your imagination, but Christ has already come. Emmanuel! God with us! It’s all true. The miracle did happen. God came down. He busted in on our time and existence and became one of us. For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called: Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace — The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
What if Christ hadn’t been born? Oh, but He was! Glory to God in the highest! He was born!