We have arrived. The final countdown is in progress. In a mere five days, we will be celebrating Christmas. This means so many different things to so many people. To some it is a day off work, to some it's holiday overtime on their paycheck. For some it's getting presents, for some it is giving presents. There are those who enjoy the time with family, those who don't so much, and those who don't have a family to enjoy. It is a time to celebrate for many, for others a time to complain. (Although the latter usually don't contain their complaining to a single time of year...)
It's interesting that Christmas was not celebrated at all in the early Church. It appears that Christmas didn't show up on the scene until around the fourth century. Also interesting is that the Bible doesn't give us a solid date to put the birth of Jesus on, unlike Easter (during Passover, well documented) and Pentecost (not quite as solid, tradition puts it 50 days after Easter, there are 40 days documented in the Bible that Jesus taught before He ascended to Heaven, with another 10 days of waiting in Jerusalem thrown in). No, this isn't a diatribe about how Christmas is an evil pagan distraction from true Christianity. Just another reminder about where our focus is supposed to be. Jesus' birth was miraculous, it was the fulfillment of a prophecy from God, but it was only the beginning. The purpose of Christmas was to get to Good Friday (Jesus' death on the cross), and the purpose of Good Friday was to get to Easter (returning from death, having paid the debt we all owe for sin, opening the door to Heaven). So my wish this Christmas is that as we sing songs and fellowship and give gifts is that we remember there is a shadow of a cross over the Nativity scene, that the Babe in the manger was the means, not the ends. Merry Christmas, and God bless.