Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I say that up front because some of our students in the youth group don’t believe that I like Christmas. Jill and I decided not to “do Santa Claus” around the time that Lily was born and upon learning of that information a few dramatic assumptions were made by some of our students including that I must hate Christmas.
To be fair, I do a lot of things and say a lot of things that probably suggest that I don’t like Christmas. I am not a big Christmas music person. I like to wait until about two weeks before Christmas to play very many songs because the songs get old and I want them to still be fun on Christmas Day. I don’t really care for Christmas movies either. There are a select few that I enjoy, but nobody needs any one movie on repeat for any length of time. Plus, if the movies were really that good, why only watch them one time of the year. Napoleon Dynamite is just as good of a movie in June as it is in December. No one is going to find Elf on TV in June. I am not very big on a bunch of decorations either. I get the tree and a few wreaths, but I don’t need to redecorate my home to remind me it is December and Christmas is coming. So I get why people might find it hard to believe that I like Christmas, but I really do!
I love that we get to celebrate with our families, our friends, our small groups, our co-workers and our church family. Maybe your office Christmas party doesn’t have anything to do with Jesus, but is there any other time of the year when you get to celebrate with almost everyone you do life with? While I know Christmas can be a stressful time, it still provides so many opportunities to celebrate, to enjoy each others company, and be positive.
I love what all of us are celebrating, Jesus. At youth group on Wednesday night, we started our Christmas series. We read John 1:1-2:
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God.”
Couple of things to clear up here- first, the Word, refers to Jesus. You may have known that, but things might get real confusing if we didn’t clear that up front. Second, you might be wondering why we read that verse to kick off our Christmas series. Good question, usually we think of the beginning of Matthew or Luke when we think of the Christmas story. Each of those books starts the story of Jesus with his physical birth on earth. John however goes all the way back to Jesus being with God in the beginning.
That is significant because Christmas is all about a gift, the greatest gift of all time. That gift was of course Jesus himself. John makes it clear that God didn’t impulsively decide to give us this gift. From the beginning, before any of us were born, before Adam and Eve fell, before the earth existed, God had his gift ready to go. He knew we would need to be reconciled back to Him. He knew we would need a savior.
I’m not one to go overboard around Christmas time. But I love that I was thought about long before I was ever born. I love that I am so valuable to God that He would be gracious enough to give me the best gift ever given. If that isn’t worth celebrating and remembering this time of year, better yet remembering all year, then I don’t know what is!