Even before Thanksgiving, trees and decorations started going up in stores and in my neighborhood. The radio is now full of Christmas music and advertisements for upcoming Christmas specials fill my TV screen. For the next 29 days I, like you, will be swamped with all things Christmas. I would like to think the reason we are being swamped is people want us to remember the Incarnation, but they probably just want us to buy more needless things. Who can survive the onslaught of marketing for 29 days?
Have you ever taken the time to think about the genesis of Christmas?
Much could be said about how the way we celebrate Christmas today got its beginning. Regardless of what one thinks about those traditions, the fact remains the origin of it all started with the birth of a little baby. Two gospel writers included the story of Jesus birth (Matt. 1-2:12, Luke 1-2:12). Of all things they could have written about they were lead to include this story.
My knowledge of the origins of Christmas is lacking. In taking a quick glance, there is no doubt there is a mixture of good and bad. The exact date of the birth of Christ is still in question and may always remain a mystery. Regardless of the exact date, a large portion of the Scripture either addresses the anticipation of the coming Messiah or the actual narrative of his birth. The two writers, Matthew and Luke, believed it was important enough for Christians of their day, and in the days to come, to know the story of how the Christ came to this earth.
Over the next several weeks as you are surrounded with the music, the specials, give and receive gifts, remember that the narrative recorded in the Text is a story worthy of being told.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them [Joseph and Mary], and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:9-11)