I look at the Holiday Season as being the "Big Three" of holidays. To me these holidays symbolize the following: Thanksgiving is for giving thanks to God; Christmas is the birth of hope from God to us; and the New Year is the time for our to take action in thanks because of the Christmas hope.
What does Christmas mean to you? I actually spent the morning asking everyone I saw what Christmas meant to them. Here are the majority of the responses I remember, in order of frequency:
- "Huh?" was expressed a few times, with no follow-on elaboration;
- "A religious time and family";
- "It's when God choose to come to us as a human";
- "The fulfillment of the prophecies".
When I look at the world around me it seems like: "Black Friday" got to be so important that it started weeks before Thanksgiving; Christmas songs are entirely devoid of Christ or the Spirit of Christmas; I hear more about ISIS than Christ, or Christmas; people respond to my "Merry Christmas" with more shock that I had when I first had someone wish me a "Happy Holidays" over 50 years ago.
What a disconnect! The season is all about God's planned gift of love to us and why we should trust him. After all, God first loved us and he causes his blessing to fall upon the just and the unjust: God loves and blesses everyone!
The old Christmas Carol "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" says it so well, for at the time it was written "merry" meant 'peaceful'. It meant to rest peacefully and without worry encroaching on your peace.
Given that interpretation, I will take the liberty of updating its lyrics a lot:
God's peace be with you
so do not be afraid.
Remember Christ, our Savior,
was born for you this day
that we be saved from evil powers
when we rely on our ways.
Good new of peace, comfort and joy! Peace and joy!
Good new of peace, comfort and joy!
This is our Christmas wish to you.