So when then? If no one is forcing us to attend family gatherings, buy crazy amounts of gifts, gather together for Christmas Eve services, if no one is forcing us to do these things, then why do we do them without fail year in and year out. Why?
Why? Because the human heart longs for what Christmas brings. Christmas stands as a yearly reminder that joy, peace, love, and giving are necessities, essential to the health of the human spirit. It's greatest reminder though, the reason for the season if you will, is the reminder that God has come into our broken world. At the time in the biblical narrative when the star appeared and baby Jesus swept onto the scene on Bethlehem, the world had been living in a 400 year period of darkness. God had been silent, not speaking to or through anyone for over four centuries. Then, all of a sudden, in the middle of the night, a shining star appears to a group of busy shepherds, and angel's voice speaks to them. This star is not just a star, it is the hope filled light that breaks through 400 years of darkness. The angelic voice calling out to the shepherds is not just a voice, it is God giving up after 400 years of playing the silent game.
Christmas is the powerful reminder that even when God seems silent, even if he has not moved, spoken, or shone His light on your life in what seems like centuries, He is coming. Christmas is a reminder that Jesus enters into our world, not just two thousand years ago, but each and every moment of each and every day, brining light out of darkness and songs of praise out of eerie silence. Christmas is the reminder that God will break the silence, that He will shine through the darkness. Christmas comes once a year, but Christ comes every moment of every day.
Merry Christmas everyone!