Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. Many of my most precious memories center around the holiday season. As the years have gone by I have watched society attempt to steal away the most precious parts of the holiday season; faith and family. The secular world has actually done a pretty good job of it and we have allowed it…possibly even embraced it.
Technology and the “age of information” have played a very important role in the theft. We “follow” peoples’ lives that we barely know, “pin” things that we will never actually do, we crush candy, become virtual farmers, play imaginary football, put things in our “cart” that we never intend to buy, read tweets from people we know we will never meet, and the list goes on and on.
All of those things are not bad things. However, in our effort to be more efficient with our time, we have added so much more to our list of things we CAN do that we don’t have time for things we SHOULD do.
Think about some of the times that have made the biggest impression on you….face to face conversation with a friend over a cup of coffee, actually writing a letter in your own handwriting with a pen and paper, sitting in the dark watching the lights blink on the Christmas tree, laying in the grass watching for shooting stars, visiting an elderly friend who has supported you throughout your life, a meal at home around the table, reading God’s word, praying, and again the list goes on and on.
Every now and then, I wish we could just unplug for the day. Strip life down to its’ most essential basics and just breathe it in. Count me as an idealist, but I think it can still be done. This idea brings panic to some of us who are so attached to our “to do” list and our social media obligations that we feel the world would fly off its orbit if we unplugged for a day. But what if we just gave it a try? Maybe we could just start by being unplugged for one hour? Take time to just listen to life in its most simplistic form. Peace and quiet brings time for us to listen to our soul, reflect and look forward in a calm way that allows clarity. If peace and quiet is a scary place for you, it has probably been way too long since you have been there.
So let’s go back to my initial question, ”What is Christmas…really?” I can tell you that it is not Christmas decorations or trees (although I absolutely love those things), it is not gifts, black Friday or cyber Monday, it is not parties or pretty clothes, it is not even angels, shepherds or wise men.
Here is Christmas in one sentence:
Galatians 4:4-5 “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, so that He might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
-no angels, no shepherds, no star or wisemen….just Christmas unplugged-
It is God’s love for us revealed in a baby who would become our Savior. It is being adopted as a child of the one true and living creator of the universe.
It is God with us.