Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Our family doesn’t have a lot of formal Christmas traditions.  No readings, no singing, nothing like that.  We go to our church Christmas eve candlelight service where we sing Christmas carols and greet our friends.  I usually ski on Christmas eve, getting home just in time for the service.  Maybe skiing is one of my traditions!  Christmas Day we get up later than many, open gifts and have a Christmas dinner with family and friends.  Sometimes we’re at our home, sometimes at my sister’s home.  We try to have a relaxing day, except for Sandra who is often cooking. 

I think that Christmas is supposed to be relaxing.  It should be fun.  After all, it’s a birthday party and you can’t celebrate a birthday without fun and excitement and joy and laughing.  We remember Jesus’ birth, and God’s love and mercy in sending His Son to us.  Can you imagine how exciting it must have been for the shepherds who heard the angel choir?  For Mary and Joseph trying to comprehend what was happening?

We can’t truly celebrate Jesus’ birth if we don’t also remember that God gave His Son to die for us, to die in our place as a sacrifice for our sins.  That’s what Christmas is all about.  A little baby, God’s own Son, born to a virgin, come to reconcile us to God.  Jesus was the most incredible Christmas Gift of all, offered to us by God Himself.  What sorrow that so many people refuse the gift of salvation God offers to them.  Instead of peace with God and eternity with Jesus in heaven, so many reject him and face an eternity of unimaginable torment separated from God.  This Christmas, make sure you truly have asked Jesus to forgive you for your disobedience to God and ask Him into your life as your Saviour. 

May your Christmas truly be a wonderful one of Peace and Joy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Christmas Rush

It is so hard to celebrate a nice, peaceful Christmas.  Everything seems to get so rushed in December.  All the friends who haven’t seen you in months suddenly want to see you before Christmas.  There are Christmas parties and more Christmas parties that we just have to attend.  Dinner’s, luncheons, the list seems endless.  We shop, we visit, we send cards which of course have to have nice long letters included in them.  We’re seemingly busy all day, every day, morning to late at night.  There’s nothing wrong with any of these Christmas celebrations or activities, but together they tend to gang up on us and steal the peace and wonder of Christmas.

Stop.  Stop everything for a couple of minutes.  Breathe deeply, smile, think about what Christmas is really all about.  Think about our Heavenly Father who sent His Son to earth to atone for our sins.  Think about the wonder of the birth of Jesus to a virgin, Mary, a young teen who suddenly found herself the mother of the Messiah.  Think about the stable, the animals, the shepherds in the fields tending their sheep, the angels and the birth of our Saviour.  It all happened.  It’s real.  And today we can know the Saviour.  We can have a personal relationship with Jesus.  Each of us is offered the opportunity to truly know God’s love and forgiveness.  That’s what Christmas is really all about.