Quick. Complete these sentences:
”Careful kid, you’ll shoot your…“
”I’m Dreaming of a White…”
Christmas. It’s all around us. It’s the time of year when names like Rudolph, Clark Griswold, and Ralphie remind us of its arrival. Christmas makes its way into our movies, tv shows, music and calendars. Yet, despite all the focus and festivities, you will be hard pressed to find people agreeing about what Christmas truly means. We can’t even agree on a common greeting. Merry Christimas, Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings. Suddenly we find ourselves wanting to make sure we cover all our bases, “Happy Merry Season’s Christmas Greetings to you!” So what IS Christmas?
Bing Crosby famously said, ‘Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it white.’ Yet, for many others, Christmas is centered on family, or parties, or rest and vacation.
Many would state Christmas hinges upon the birth of a small baby born in a manger in the small town of Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. Yet, even for those of us who see Christmas as centered on the birth of Christ, we run the risk of missing the bigger picture of this event. When we isolate Christmas to a single date in our calendar year, when we see it simply as a single day, it can come and go without much significance in our lives.
Let me explain what I mean. Birthdays are a pretty big deal around our house. My daughter’s birthday falls on October 13th. It’s a significant day for our family. Yet, we don’t simply celebrate that day as the historic remembrance of her birth (as special as that first day was), we celebrate her continued vibrant, daily presence and influence in our life.
So what if we looked at Christmas this way? Instead of observing December 25th as a once a year event, what if the birth of Christ represented a living story in our life?
- An ongoing story
- A personal story unique to you
- A story with continued, constant and vibrant influence in your life
Take the time to read a part of the Christmas story with fresh eyes today. Read Luke 2:1–20.
See Christmas through the eyes of the shepherds:
Hear the declaration of God’s story, “Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born…”
See that this Savior was born to part of your story, “was born for you…”
A story to be shared with one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened…”
A story of joy meant for all people, “I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people…”
Now consider seeing the Christmas story through your own eyes:
Rooted and founded on God’s story.
One that becomes transformational when it becomes your personal story.
Fully realized and expressed when it is shared in community as our story.
Vibrant and compelling when we see it as the world’s story.
So before the tree is taken down, the decorations put away, consider bringing the Christmas story with you into the new year. Allow the story of His birth, “good news of great joy”, to walk with you every day of 2015.
If you missed Sunday, you can take it in here: