Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Reclaiming Christmas

The other night we decorated our Christmas Tree.  It is a tradition that we have.  We all gather together, I unwrap the ornaments and then pass them to the kids to put on the tree one at a time.  Our nativity ornaments go on first.  They always occupy front and centre on our tree to remind us of what we are actually suppose to be celebrating.  I love this time together.  The kids always get excited about seeing each of ornaments.  They tell each other stories about when it was received or how it was made.  For each ornament there is a story, a history, sweet memories and even though we know them by heart it is brings a closeness as the kids share them again and again.

As we sat listening to the stories I realized that this simple time together, hanging the ornaments and sharing our memories as a family, is one of my favourite traditions.  In a time where we are trying hard to turn off the "holiday machine" that Christmas has become I relish simplicity and moments to breath and ponder.  Near the end of the events of Christ birth as recorded by Luke in chapter 2,  verse 19 says, "But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart."  She was cherishing and mulling over all that God had done.

Reclaiming Christmas is not about simply putting a creche on our front lawn or going to church on Christmas Eve or providing hospitality to family and friends or even considering those less fortunate than ourselves.  It is about taking time to ponder the truth of all that God has done.  It is allowing oneself time to carefully consider, God, His Way, His Word and His will for our lives.  Reclaim Christmas by taking time to reflect on the birth of Jesus and what Christmas is rather than what you want it to be or what you would like to do.  May the light of Bethlehem shine in our hearts this Christmas and may we be like the shepherds and see for ourselves the thing that the Lord has made known to us.

"But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
 11for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
 12"This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
 13And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
    14"Glory to God in the highest,
         And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."
 15When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us."    ~Luke 2: 10-15