Which Way to Christmas?
This time every year one question is asked a lot – “Are you ready for Christmas?” I think there’s a better question we should be asking ourselves and those we love: “Do you know where you’re going for Christmas?” I don’t mean do you know the street address or which relatives you’ll be eating turkey with this year. I mean do you know which way to look to find Christmas? If we’re looking in the usual places the odds are stacked against us for finding anything more or less than we ever have.
To find something new we need to look at what’s around us with new eyes. I need someone else, close by to me, to point out what I might otherwise miss in Christmas. I need people who know where to look or at least how to look differently at the things that may be right in front of me.
There is a strange character in the bible named John. Those who knew him gave him the nickname “the baptiser”. John the baptizer, or the “baptist” had a different way of looking at life. Many of the people that came to him had grown tired of looking for God but always missing God, or at least missing the signs God kept wanting them to see.
John announced to everyone who would come out of the city and find him in the wilderness, and listen, that the only way to really see God, even when God was always right there in front of their noses, was to begin looking in another direction – the direction of Jesus. Maybe then the invisible would be made visible to them.
No one, except a knowing few, would ever have expected Jesus to be the one to show them another side of life; one they would never have discovered on their own, and far better than any they could imagine – a life of forgiveness for past mistakes and future failings, a life of hope, a guaranteed future, and an inexaustable love and irreplacable joy. Yet that is exactly what Jesus did, again and again. He showed people God was as close as their breath and as near as their heartbeat. He showed them how much God cared for them. Which was the right way of doing it – showing not telling – since they no longer had to agree or disagree with him. All they could do now, having met him, was to accept what he offered, for themselves, or turn away and miss out on the experience of a new lifetime!
Christmas is just that! Its more than just one more gathering with family or friends around the Christmas tree. It is the experience of a NEW time in our lives when we gather around Christ and let him show us the difference he makes.
You may or may not have all your decorations up yet. You may not get that last string of lights out of the box and untangled this season, but I will pray this for you – that you will know where you’re going to find Christmas this year. I pray you will experience the newness of life Christ alone offers us. Have a blessed Christmas!