As we celebrate the Nativity today, I began to reflect on something that I wrote about a year ago in my journal. I wrote, “As I was walking home the other night, I was walking alone down a cold dark street and couldn’t help but think about how that used to be the norm for me. It was the perfect image of my life from a few years ago…it was the image of my life before Christ.”
See, in the West, we see everyone preparing for Christmas beginning as early as mid-October. We begin to hear Christmas songs and see lights and “start your black Friday shopping early.” We have this tremendous build-up to Christmas day, and then at 11:59 PM on the night of Christmas, the radio stations go back to their usual programming, the TV specials end; the spirit of Christmas seems to die. Our culture celebrates Christmas before Christmas, and then allows the last carol on the radio to be the funeral dirge for the season.
But, that’s so backwards from the way that we should celebrate Christmas. In the Church, we spend forty days of preparation for the feast. We spend forty days remembering what life would be like without Christ in our life. Forty days of ascetic self-denial; forcing ourselves to recognize this cold, lonely world without Christ. And then today, we celebrate the feast of the Nativity of Christ. We celebrate the birth of our Savior.
Today shouldn’t end the celebration, it should begin it. Today celebrates the day that we can truly say “Christ is in our midst.” It shouldn’t be the end of the celebration, it should be the beginning of it. Who celebrates a wedding before the wedding day and discards the joy it brings immediately after? Neither should we discard the joy and hope, the love, that Christ brings to us just because He is now born.
No, the shopping season may be over in our culture, but the Christmas season is just beginning. May we all embrace this fact and continue to celebrate the Nativity of the Savior throughout the entire season. May we, in fact, celebrate the fact that Christ is born, He has come to bring salvation to the world, and that He is truly in our midst.
Merry Christmas my brothers and sisters!
Christ is born Glorify Him!