The quest for the “perfect” Christmas can make this an exhausting time of year for many. I have found myself increasingly in that category as the years go by. I’ve lost the joy of buying presents, putting up the Christmas decorations, baking. Instead of looking forward to these activities they have become a chore; another box to tick. I begrudge the way they pull me out of my routine.
But even as that is happening, I can feel the call of that baby. The Incarnation. It’s not a word that I grew up with or using with any regularity, and while many of us are familiar with the miracle of the Resurrection, I sometimes feel that we are missing out on the meaning of the gift we are truly celebrating on December 25. The Incarnation – God became man. Just saying the word, dwelling on that, the “perfectness” of that gift, I find my heart filled with the joy that I thought I was missing. I find myself filled with love; love of God and mankind.
Jesus isn’t just the reason for the season; the love that fills peoples hearts at this time of year, that makes them more generous, more courteous, more kind — THAT IS JESUS. Jesus isn’t just the reason for the season, Jesus is the season. God incarnated. God made man. The miracle of that birth stretches across centuries, across generations, across racial, and cultural divides to give us a glimpse of something truly special.
When I find myself dwelling on that miracle, I realize that I need to approach each of my Christmas “tasks” as an act of thanksgiving, an act of celebration of the miracle of the virgin birth. James 2:26 says “as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” If I have faith and if I believe “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11. then I need to look no further to find meaning in Christmas. I need to approach each and everything I do (my deeds), as a part of my Christmas celebrations, as an act of love; as a gift offered before that baby boy. At this time of year, it isn’t just about my faith, it’s about offering up my deeds, to let them be my offering, just as the wise men offered their gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. Over the next few weeks I don’t want to celebrate Christmas, I want to celebrate the magic of, the miracle of the Incarnation. God made man. Halleluiah!