On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us. 2 Corinthians 1:10 (NIV)
A friend told me about a woman who was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After hours of scanning the shelves of toys, and everything else imaginable, and after hearing her children begging for all the things they wanted, she finally made it to the elevator. The doors opened and typically, the elevator was packed with people. But she managed to squeeze in with her bags and children. When the doors closed she let out an exhausted sigh and said, “Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up, and shot!” From the back of the elevator a voice responded, “Don’t worry, we already crucified him!”
In the busyness of the season it’s easy to forget who started Christmas. Cards have to be written and mailed out, special treats cooked (and tasted!), parties attended, shopping bags filled, the tree trimmed, lights hung, relatives phoned, the dog groomed, the snow shovelled, the house cleaned, and more. It’s tiring just thinking about it!
Which is why we need to keep a clear focus: Christmas isn’t about us; it’s about Him. It’s about the Word who became flesh. It’s about the One who left a spotless castle for a dirty stable. It’s about the One who exchanged the worship of angels for the company of liars, thieves and killers. It’s about the One who swopped the splendour of heaven for the straw of a barn. It’s about the One who can hold the universe in the palm of His hand but gave that up to float in the womb of a teenage girl. And it’s about the sinless One who came to die for sinners like you and me.
So let’s not forget who started Christmas or why He started it. Remember Him when you’re lighting a candle, wrapping a gift, or carving the turkey. Think about Him in the Mall when you hear Santa’s, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” And keep Him in mind when you’re singing, “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire.”
At the end of the day Advent is about putting Jesus first. After all, He put us first. He started it all when He humbled Himself and became a man – a man who lived and died as the once-for-all sacrifice for our sin. Praise the Lord! The salvation of our lives was more important than the saving of His life. He gave up His glory so we could go to glory. That’s the rub. Christ started Christmas because our souls were His highest concern . . .