It’s mid-November. The Veterans and cadets have marched to the cenotaph; wreaths have been laid and respectful speeches given.
The very next day…WHAM. Christmas decorations everywhere. The Santa Claus parade down Main Street this morning. The wish lists drafted. The merchants in a lather. The guest lists for Ho-Ho parties.
We are getting ready to do what we do at this time of year. Oh sure, the remaining 5 or 6 weeks will fly by. But we have in effect kidnapped the Babe of Bethlehem for our own purposes. A Saviour must be squeezed in somewhere between Bing Crosby, Rudolph, Charlie Brown and Charles Dickens.
Many will say “Who cares anyway? We can’t trace the Nativity to the winter season or any particular date.”
But think about the concept of agreement on a single day, world-wide and reverencing a scene of humility, gifting of life, oppression vanquished and God becoming intensely involved with simple, worshipful people. That focus is of immense redeeming value. Immanuel. God with us; God for us.
Those who are sold out to the party scene and dear old Aunt Ethel’s red cabbage for the feast, wake up on December 26th still hungry inside, and wondering about the magic they have missed from that other-worldly manger scene. Some of those will join the tinsel-free family of faith.