From a church bulletin written by Floyd Brand, December 20, 2015.
The common question is, “Are you all set for Christmas?”
The real question is, “Are you ready for Christ when he cometh?”
If so, all the rest does not matter all that much. If not, all the rest does not matter at all.
After Christmas, the frequent question is, “Did you have a good Christmas?” This too is off the mark.
Christmas is the birth of the Redeemer. Christmas is the Incarnation of the Son of God. Christmas brings glad tidings of great joy, because to all the world a Savior is born. Christmas marks the beginning of the crushing of the Serpent’s head. Christmas makes manifest that God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son. The Son of God was manifested to take away our sin, and to destroy the works of the devil.
If then there is an empty chair at the table this year, then the Christmas Gospel comes to life all the more. It announces the blessed hope of the resurrection of the dead and of the glory of the world to come.
If one’s earthly life is in shambles at the moment, then be it remembered that the Incarnation of our Lord sets a statute of limitations on the suffering of the faithful (and on the pleasures of the godless, for that matter).The Incarnation certifies that “he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.”
If the children cannot all come home for the holidays, but are worshiping the Christ Child wherever they are, then the separation is only geographical and temporary.
If it doesn’t seem like a real Christmas without snow, then one has really missed the point.
If one said all this out loud, the likely response would be, “Well, you know what I mean.” Exactly. It means that staging a successful celebration has become the important thing.
Christmas is singing with the angels that God has invaded the realm of darkness and the devil, releasing the prisoners and bringing light to the world. Christmas is pondering the Incarnation with Mary; and proclaiming it with the shepherds.