I love Christmas. I love families gathering with one another. I love the generosity the season prompts in people’s hearts. I love the smells of baking. I love the music. Most of all, I love the story – the story of how God entered the world through the Christ Child.
This Christmas will be different for most of us. Many of the rituals that make this season meaningful (family gatherings, baking cookies, concerts, Christmas Eve candlelight worship) will be different or absent this year.
As much as we may dislike the disruption of this Christmas season, it gives us insight into the true meaning of the season. For the first Christmas was not postcard perfect: a government decree uprooted Mary and Joseph from their home in Nazareth; at 9-months pregnant Mary and her fiancé walked 90-miles to the tiny town of Bethlehem; there Mary gave birth to her child in a barn and laid him to sleep in a feeding trough, because there is nowhere else to stay. Yet through the birth of Mary’s child, under less-than-ideal circumstances, the living God has entered the world to dwell among us.
Even amid the upheaval of Christmas this year, we will celebrate the reason for the season: the birth of the Christ Child, the Messiah, our Savior.
I wish this Christmas could be different. As the new lead pastor at Oak Hill, I would love to gather with this congregation. While that will not happen this year, we will still celebrate the reason for the season: God has entered the world through the birth of a tiny, vulnerable child to shine the Light of Christ among us.
May the Light of Christ shine in your life this Christmas.