DATE: December 8, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: Luke 2: 13-14 – ESV - Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!
What is Christmas?
In answer to that question someone wrote what is intended to be a humorous paraphrase of Luke 2. This is what it said:
. "And there were in the same country children keeping watch over their stockings by the fireplace. And, lo, Santa Claus came upon them; and they were sore afraid.
And Santa said unto them: "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people who can afford them. For unto you will be given great feasts of turkey, dressing and cake; and many presents.
And this shall be a sign unto you, ye shall find the presents wrapped in bright paper, lying beneath a tree adorned with tinsel, colored balls and lights.
And suddenly there will be with you, a multitude of relatives and friends praising you and saying, "Thank you so much, it was just what I wanted." And it shall come to pass as the friends and relatives have gone away into their own homes, the parents shall say one to another, "I’m tired. Let's go to bed and pick it up tomorrow.' Thank goodness Christmas only comes once a year!
And they go with haste to their cold bed and find their rest."
As I said, it was intended to be humorous.
Unfortunately, there is too much truth in those lines to be a parody. Far too many people may see big parts of their holiday festivities in those paragraphs. Too many folks may read those lines, shake their heads and say, “I don’t get it. What’s supposed to be so funny?”
Truth is, I really don’t have many problems with those paragraphs. They do address many of the outward trappings of an American Christmas. In and of themselves there is nothing wrong with them. The difficulty comes about when the externals are the beginning and ending of the family’s festivities.
What needs to be present not just in our Christmases, but also In our hearts and lives is the Savior. There is truth to the old adage, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Praise God that He sent His Son.
If He had not there would be no presents, only pain.
There would be no tree, only terror. There would be no tinsel, only trash.
There would be no cross or comfort, only depression, doubt and despair from cradle to grave.
For those who mourn there would be no message of peace and the Bible would end with Malachi.
Praise God that He sent His Son. That is what Christmas is. It is simple. But in the rush of the holidays, it is necessary for us to hear it. To paraphrase Matthew, this is why Jesus Christ was born. That is what Christmas is.
THE PRAYER: Lord , every night on TV I get news. I give thanks that in this season of the year Your angels remind us that Jesus is the good news of great joy. May I share this Christ with all those whose holidays are made up of externals. In Your holy Name I pray it. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html