I was surfing the Facebook feeds when I stumbled across this quote posted by my high school friend, Joe:
"There was a moment, known only to God, when all the stars held their breath,
when the galaxies paused in their dance for a fraction of a second, and the Word,
who had called it all into being, went with all his love into the womb of a young girl,
and the universe started to breathe again, and the ancient harmonies resumed their song,
and the angels clapped their hands for joy"
And I was just struck by this quote - with the enormity of it. We have entered the Christmas season, barreling into it with our shopping frenzies, our lists of Santa Claus, our party obligations. We may (or may not) take time out to remember the point of Christmas.... choosing to fill our minds with Black Friday bargains or recipes for egg nog. Those things are fun, and can certainly be a part of our holiday celebrations, but it is imperative that we remember the CENTER of Christmas is Christ, the miracle of his birth, and the impact He had on all humankind.
This weekend, my friend, Steph, and I will volunteer at our church's Christmas ADVENTure for primary age kids. We are making a Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar out of pizza boxes, construction paper, and large office tags. On the inside lid of the box is this reminder:
The True Meaning of Christmas
The FIR TREE - Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven.
The STAR - The star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise.
A CANDLE - The candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness.
A WREATH - The wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.
A HOLLY LEAF - The holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him.
The GIFT - God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son. Thanks be to God!
A CANDY CANE - The candy cane represents the shepherds' crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper.
An ANGEL - It was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men.
A BELL - The lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.
A SANTA CLAUS - Santa Claus can symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December. Certainly he can be a part of your Christmas, but he is not the center. The center of our Christmas celebration should always be remembering the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
REJOICE! It is Christmastime
You can keep your shopping and wrapping and caroling. You can enjoy your egg nog and breakfast casseroles. You can sit on Santa's lap and make your Christmas wish list as long as you want. But through it all, remember that you've been given the most important gift already... and that gift came from God, himself.
Merry Christmas, God... and Happy Birthday, Jesus!