Christmas itself is by grace. It could never have survived our own blindness and depredations otherwise. It could never have happened otherwise. Perhaps it is the very wildness and strangeness of the grace that has led us to try to tame it. We have tried to make it habitable. We have roofed it in and furnished it. We have reduced it to an occasion we feel at home with, at best a touching and beautiful occasion, at worst a trite and cloying one. But if the Christmas event in itself is indeed—as a matter of cold, hard fact—all it’s cracked up to be, then even at best our efforts are misleading.   -Frederick Buechner, Beyond Words       

Miraculously, Christmas has somehow remained Christmas despite the continued efforts to re-name it and reduce it into merely a mega-shopping and spending spree.  Christmas has survived the deliberate onslaught to ultimately squeeze out the One who the whole holiday is about.  And Christmas remains  the day the entire known world stops and bows down in adoration, unless we miss it of course.
 
Jesus Christ in a manger hasn’t been replaced by Santa Claus on a sleigh.  
 
We are a culture consumed with distraction and content with avoidance, failing to recognize and ponder the magnitude of the real gifts our Lord Jesus came to bring.  The miracles of grace and peace and joy overflowing that Jesus came to bring get drowned out amidst all of the noise really. 
 
And the wonder of it all is that the Wonder is just as alive as he was that initial Christmas Eve—and the next time he comes, he won’t be the baby in a manger—he’ll be the reigning King.
  
With all of the glitz and glitter, the cookies and cakes, the giving of and gifts, the glee and laughter, the loves and lost loves, the eggnog and mistletoe, the tree and the trimmings, the sadness and sorrow, the reminders of Christmas’ past and hopes for brighter ones to come—in it all, may we simply visit with him.  May we get uninvolved with the busyness of it all so we  can be reawakened to the wonder of it all.  The wonder of why Jesus comes to any of us?  
 
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God
in the highest,
     and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”   (Luke 2:8-14, ESV)
 
May the Prince of Peace bring us peace to last the whole year round: Peace in our hearts, and peace in our homes.  For those of us who are peace fakers—may he make us peacemakers.  For those of us who are peace breakers—may he make us peacekeepers.  And for those of us who are peace haters—may he make us lovers of peace.
 
This Christmas, may the untold miracles of Christmas be ours.
Advertisements