Monday, December 22, 2014

What Christmas Means to Me

I am a horrible, obnoxious, vicious critic of Christmas songs. I deliver up a full helping of snarky comments all day long, all season long. There are the stupid meaningless songs, the dysfunctional relationship/recent break up/stalker songs, the "winter" songs, the bad theology religious songs (Do you hear what I hear?), the Beach Boys attempt at comparing Santa's sleigh to a hot rod, my kids' favorite which they call '6-pack at a liquor store', and it just goes on and on. I've written blogs about particular songs and lists of songs. This is not one of those posts. It's just inspired by one of those Christmas songs, but I'm not going to critique it. Just quote it.

Fires burning low, lots of mistletoe
Lots of snow and ice everywhere we go
Choirs singing carols right outside my door
All these things and more, that's what Christmas means to me my Lord

Here is what Christmas means to me, why I love to celebrate it.

A long time ago, God made a man and a woman. He gave them only one rule. Eat from any tree but this one. They disobeyed, and everything began to die. But even as God told them to leave and described some of the consequences of their actions, He said, I'm gonna fix this.

Thousands of years of sin, judgement, repentance and forgiveness later, in a moment of unfathomable and extraordinary grace and mercy, God placed the glory and majesty and splendor of Himself in the humble womb of a nondescript unmarried young woman. The glory of Mary is that she said yes. The glory of God is that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. He showed us the Father. He became acquainted with grief. He learned obedience through suffering. He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets, and in the same earthly breath, was Himself the propitiation for our sin.

Unbelievable, and yet gloriously believable.

All in a moment, in a gestational moment. All of creation, pregnant with desire and expectation, waiting for that one pregnancy and delivery of the Deliverer. Is it not magnificent? Is it not extraordinary? I am not diminishing the Cross or the Resurrection. But the culmination of everything before was that moment. The Word become Flesh. We beheld His Glory. The Glory of the Only One begotten of the Father. Full of grace. Full of truth. At the same time. Not in competition, not torn, not confused. Grace and truth. Mercy and justice, simultaneously born to us here together. Stunningly, exquisitely, universe shatteringly beautiful.

You can see where "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" sorta falls just a tad short, right?

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