Christmases of my childhood were spent at the farm. We were the only ones of the 6 families to brave the unheated upstairs rooms where snow would drift inside the windows on the sills. The tree had been cut from the row up by the old farmhouse which was now abandoned. Each spring 5 new trees were planted so there would always be a tree for the future. That morning, the house would fill with 20 grandchildren, 14 adults, lots of food and presents. A time to gather, play, and enjoy one another.
As you celebrate this year, I would encourage you to spend time contemplating the fact that the Word of God was incarnate in a baby. What was that like for Him? What does it mean for us, not as a group, but individually? Take time to read the nativity accounts together.
While we are doing that, let’s not forget—He will return. Matthew 24:36–39 records Jesus saying: “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
What will it mean for our families, and our communities? What is our role as we await this day and hour?
Our Christmas Day is much different now with just the two of us. Many of those who gathered 60+ years ago are now gone. But one thing has not changed: the emphasis on why we celebrate—Jesus came and was born for us.
Photo © FamVeld/iStock