I wish a merry Christmas to all my readers. Of course, I also wish joy and happiness to those readers who are celebrating one or more of the other holidays that occur at this time of year.
Perhaps I should have posted this last Wednesday or Tuesday, but I have been just busy enough to have missed that deadline. On the other hand, Christmas cards keep dribbling in by snail mail well after the formal holiday. While many Christmas trees are already in the pile at our community recycling location, our Christmas tree is still up. All of the decorations in the neighborhood are still up and lit at night. Christmas is intended to be more than a single day celebration. Love and joy are to be shared by all.
Indeed, in many American subcultures, Christmas festivities started back in mid December and in some, subcultures Christmas festivities will continue celebrations until January 6, the date some traditions say the Magi arrived.
Presents are an important part of the Christmas celebration, but it matters less what gifts anyone gives or receives, because the most important gift of Christmas is the birth of a baby boy, Jesus. He also had the name Emanuel, or God with us because Christians believe that God came to live among men as Jesus. As a result we can relate to him because he was both God and man. We pay more attention to his teaching than if God had simply revealed the truth with a heavenly proclamation. Most important is that this child born on Christmas two centuries ago, is the Messiah, the one who would bear our sin. Of course, that is the story told at Easter, but there would be no Easter without Christmas.
A wrapped gift under the Christmas tree does no one any good as long as it stays wrapped. Jesus is God’s gift to us. We only have to receive him. Go to church. Ask Jesus into your heart.
I know I am being politically incorrect to use Merry Christmas rather than Happy Holidays. Our household uses Merry Christmas because for us the focus of the holiday is the birth of Jesus. Nevertheless, we wish to share our joy to our friends regardless of what their celebration is at this time of year. There is enough joy to share.
(Credit for the Christmas cactus pictured above goes to my wife. It actually bloomed in November, but others are in bloom now.)
(Please check out my website, www.ReynoldConger.com.)