Luke’s familiar narrative of the angels descending to earth and announcing the birth of Christ to a group of humble shepherds is one of great joy! After the angels had delivered their message and returned to heaven, the shepherds decided to go to Bethlehem and “see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us”. There they found the Christ-child, and afterwards, having recognized the magnitude of what had been revealed to them, they went about proclaiming the glorious news!
On the other end of the spectrum, we have John Grisham’s classic book “Skipping Christmas”. It is the rather hilarious account of a family that intentionally decides they would not celebrate Christmas at their house in any form or fashion. Grisham humorously describes the complications and difficulties encountered by this family as they try to “ignore” Christmas. Truth be told, it’s one thing to try to ignore Christmas, it’s another thing to miss it all together.
Years ago our family was traveling to spend Christmas Day with relatives. I remember passing a motel on the roadside and seeing one lone car in the parking lot. I couldn’t help but wonder about the poor individual to whom this car belonged, and whether they were even aware it was Christmas Day? An overwhelming sense of loneliness swept over me as I contemplated how dreadful it must have been for that forlorn soul who I suspected was missing Christmas.
Many characters were used by God in the birth of His son. Of course there were Mary and Joseph, and the Wise Men. Ah! And how about those shepherds! All of them were integral to the historical narrative surrounding that first “Christmas”, and I am certain after they had experienced this astounding, awe-inspiring event they would never conceive of missing it!
But while many have discovered and reveled in the inherent joy surrounding the Christmas story, sadly many others have missed it altogether, and even more tragically are those who, as the family in Grisham’s story, deliberately refuse to acknowledge the wonder of what is truly being celebrated.
To find Jesus is to find Christmas. Not to know Him means you have missed the true significance of Christmas.
I trust in your life Jesus is more than a just season and Christmas just an empty celebration. I trust that you have made him your Savior. The scripture says “His name shall be called Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins”. And that ultimately is the “reason for the season” of Christmas!
See ya Sunday!