We are now well into that time of year where Christmas trees adorn our houses and presents of all shapes and sizes begin to appear.
One of the things I love to do, is to try to disguise the gifts I am giving by using odd shapes or obscure wrapping techniques. This is not always easy to achieve as in years past we have had to wrap drum kits, bicycles, Barbie fun houses and even pieces of furniture. Small items are always easy; you can put them in a larger box and the recipient is thrown of guard.
I was thinking about the fact this week that it is almost like Christmas itself has been ‘wrapped up’ in colourful and confusing trimmings.
I am always surprised when I think of certain things which have become synonymous with Christmas…there are of course the snow, frosty and winter wonderlands which can all be explained by geographical considerations but then I saw the latest advert for a large department store which features an elf on skis, a disinterested angel, a mouse and a reindeer all heading out to go shopping. I start to think that maybe the ‘wrapping’ has become more of a focus than the ‘content’ that is now very much hidden within.
If I was to ask you to summarise Christmas in one word what would you choose?
I know some kids would say “Presents!” “Holidays” “Food” or “Fun”. The cynical would say “Commercialism” or “Meaningless ritual”. The contemplative amongst us would say “Family” “Thankfulness” or “Love”. Others will say “A good excuse for a holiday”.
But what do you say?
What really is the purpose, meaning and significance of Christmas to you?
For me, and all Christians – Christmas is a revealing of “Hope” and the possibility of real and lasting “Peace”. As I look around our world today I see a greater need than ever before for these possibilities. Jesus coming to earth as a child was just the intervention the world needed to save it from itself.
My prayer for you this Christmas is that you would not lose what is real about Christmas in all of the ‘wrapping’ that it is presented with.
I hope you have joy, and all of the good things but I also pray that the Peace and Hope of Christ touches you and yours…
“Unto us a Child is born…And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6