Have An Ostentatious Christmas
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go. Your electric bills are high and your evenings end with a sigh, as that special day draws nigh. I have been known to be a little grinchy this time of year. I don't know what it is that curls my toes. Maybe it is all the Santa Clauses in the yards that just a month ago were decorated with witches. Maybe it is because of the blatant commercialization of a difficult intimate event that ushered in the savior of the world. Maybe it is because all the atheist like to take this opportunity to poke fun at our beliefs and threaten to sue people just trying to have a fun celebration. *Sigh*
My wife is good to me, though. She has very low expectations for my participation in shopping and decorations. I try and go to the stores with her, but I don't know what people want, and standing in lines foraging through isles of merchandise isn't the kind of hunt I was created for. And don't get me started about decorating. Though while she was off shopping today I pulled them all out. I was going to put the artificial tree together, but couldn't find all the parts. I'm blogging instead.
Yet, there are things I love about the season. I enjoy being with our family, and though they are spread throughout the world I know that we can Skype with them and share the wonder of the season in our virtual world. We are going to spend Christmas with my son Steve and his wife Jen in their new home. I was hoping they would wait so we could shop and decorate together (he says sarcastically). It will be a fun and enjoyable time,
I also like the worship. Even though the season is mingled with a lot of pagan trappings, and Santa gets much of the spot light, for Christians to set aside so much time focusing on the greatest gift of all is a moving experience. Satan tries to cover it up but he can't. Churches will be filled on Christmas Eve to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and in most believer's homes on the morning of December 25th, the Christmas story will be told, read, and sung.
What strikes me most about Christmas is when the lights go off. In the wonder of the season, with the bright and flashing lights we hearald in the birth of the savior. Then the lights go off and we are reminded of the darkness, and it is the darkness for which the light came. When the decorations are taken down the plain and stark truth settles in, that without the hope of the world our lives are empty. That is why the week after Christmas is one of the most depressing times the year.
The darkness points us to an even greater moment in history when the light of world flickers and dies, but is not gone. We are dragged through the darkness until we realize how much we miss the light and our hearts yearn for something more. Then Easter comes and we rejoice again, with louder and more grateful hearts. The light shines once again and God's love and forgiveness reigns for all who would believe.
This has been cathartic, and I think I am getting in the spirit of the season. Rebecca will be home soon and we are going to see The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Maybe I will even help put up some Christmas lights. I'm just saying...