When I was in grad school there was a house near campus that had an eclectic Christmas display. It started out with a normal light display. One year the residents didn’t take the Christmas lights down. Instead they added seasonal decorations throughout the year. They would just leave up the previous seasonal/holiday decorations. Eventually the entire yard became a huge mash-up of lights and “holiday” themed inflatables. I think one year I even saw live animals. The most notable was the Easter bunny next to the Shepherds in the nativity scene.
Many times I think we are like that yard. It is easy to focus on all of the stuff of Christmas. Christmas time is one of my favorites. I enjoy the music, gift giving and other special things. It is easy to become busy buying gifts, decorating, parties, special events. It doesn’t happen maliciously but somehow the Easter Bunny ends up in the nativity scene. (Yes, I know the Wise men don’t historically belong in the Nativity scene but that is another post.)
My challenge this year is to not lose sight of the meaning of Christmas during Advent:
- To make a conscious effort to take time to reflect on the meaning of Christmas not just the stuff of Christmas.
- To reflect God’s love and not channel the Grinch.
- To take time to enjoy family and friends.
- To celebrate the first Christmas gift.
Performed by Relient K
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:16-18 NIV