We did it! We finally put up our Christmas! Our new house has a different layout from our previous one, so it looks like Christmas may have thrown up when you walk in our front door! We forced ourselves to watch some Christmas movies to try and get in the 'spirit' of Christmas. Sometimes it is okay to force yourself into doing what you know you ought even if you don't feel like it! Do it for the children!
Now it is finally beginning to look like Christmas around our house. The song that Johnny Mathis sang states that we should see "candy canes and silver lanes aglow." There should be toys in every store, a tree in the Grand Hotel, bells, carols and Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again! Sound at all familiar to anyone?! This is what my house looks like, and I do really love it. I'm ready to get lights on the house and build a snowman in the front yard (hurry up snow!).
All of this "Christmas Look and Feel" has me thinking what the very first Christmas looked like? Not just the Nativity that becomes another piece of decoration. What that time leading up to Jesus' birth and after really looked like? Obviously, it wasn't called Christmas. In fact it wasn't called that until the year 336 by Emperor Constantine. Without arguing about the time of year Jesus was born or if the wise men were really there, I would love to look at that first night.
Angels singing on high and scaring shepherds out in the field!
The shepherds going to the manger and then sharing the good news!
We love these two aspects of Christmas, and they let us know that it was definitely not a Silent Night. In fact it ended up being a very noisy time for Bethlehem.
Travelers filling up rooms because of a census.
Mary and Joseph traveling over 80 miles for the same reason.
The birth of a baby (not a silent event!).
After the birth we see the shepherds and eventually a caravan of wise men bearing gifts. What a celebration that must have been!
The celebration quickly turns dark as Joseph is warned to flee to Egypt.
Herod orders the death of every boy under the age of two.
This was not a Silent Night. This was far from a Holy Night.
This moment in history brought reality to the spiritual war that had begun. Things are getting real and Satan is pulling out all the stops to shut it down. We see God sending His Son to earth for our salvation. As we are born for "such a time as this" and for a purpose, Jesus on the other hand, was born to die. That was His purpose. It puts this season into perspective for me and I hope for you as well.
In the midst of all things Christmas this season, let us not forget the reason for it. Yes, enjoy your family and friends. Open the presents and stockings. Eat a lot of food and save room for dessert. But, let us also give thanks for the Prince of Peace. Let us worship together the one who laid down His life so that we could take up ours. O come let us adore the One who humbled Himself and paid it all, for you and for me.
For unto is a child is born, and He is what Christmas is all about.