Where Are You, Christmas?
Christmas is changing. It’s changing just like everything else, because it is moving farther and farther from its center point. Just like the rest of American culture, there’s a movement towards multiple meanings and a vague, undefined plethora of ideas. Of course, diversity of meanings can be wonderful, and allow for different interpretations. But things were also created for a reason, and if we don’t see that sometimes we miss the point.
You see, people hear the words regarding religion without considering them. Even I have read the Bible many times without honing on the words or meditating on what they actually mean. Studying words are different than just reading them. The same goes with songs, as people might sing the lyrics, “remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day, to save us all from Satan’s power when we had gone astray.” Those are powerful lyrics, right from a song that is sung often in the holiday season, yet how many people stop to ponder the words?
The Christmas story is bizarre. Unfortunately, there’s really no way to get around that, because if I was someone who had never encountered a religious idea, I’d think that it’s weird, too. Just think about it: a woman receives a vision from an angel that she will become pregnant with God’s Son while maintaining her virginity. This son will grow up to be the Savior of the world, God in flesh among us, and will eventually remove the bondage of sin from our lives so that we may have eternal life and relationship with him. That’s wild. I understand your hesitation if that’s where you’re at.
Guess what? I’ve been there too. I put my faith in God at the age of 19 and haven’t looked back since, but it took a while. It was not a one-day process and as quick as someone reading the Christmas story or praying a prayer. Faith is a leap that often takes time, but there is meaning behind it. So if you’re reading this, whether you believe in God or can’t stand that people think he exists, try finding the meaning in one thing this Christmas.
Read a part of the Christmas story in the Bible. Choose a traditional Christmas song and read the lyrics to find the true meaning of them. Look at a common tradition, like lighting advent candles, and study how it started and what it means for us to do it today. Just choose something. Find the meaning in this Christmas, and you may just find more and more beneath the surface.