In the incarnation of Jesus, there is so much to savor. And we should strive to savor it all.
Imagine two weeks ago, sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal saying, “Wow, there is so much food here! I’m just not going to eat anything.” You wouldn’t say that. Instead, you might take one bite at a time, enjoying everything on the table. This should be our approach to the story of the incarnation of Jesus. The truths in this story are best savored one bite at a time.
“Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine."
This is a famous line from the beginning of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, said in annoyance by Ebenezer Scrooge to his jovial nephew Fred. While Scrooge barks this reply to justify not celebrating Christmas at all, it nevertheless raises questions: How should Christians keep Christmas? Can we keep it in our own ways? Are they’re ways we shouldn’t keep it?
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--
of whom I am the worst.
(1 Timothy 1:15)
Advent is the twenty-five days leading up to Christmas Day that anticipates the arrival of Jesus Christ into the world. This year, it begins officially on Sunday, November 29. It is meant to be an intensifier of the joy we have at Christmas.
In 2019, our church's Advent theme was A Thrill of Hope, a lyric taken from the popular Christmas song, "O Holy Night." As a church, we celebrated the hope that God has not left us in our sin, but has sent His Son to earth as a man to be an atoning sacrifice for our sin.
It seems only fitting, given the year that 2020 has been, to consider the next lyric of the song; a weary world rejoices. This year, perhaps more than even, a weary world needs reason to rejoice.
The church has reason to celebrate Christmas with truer joy than the world.
That’s why we celebrate Advent; so that at Christmas, we would say, “How can we make everything point ourselves and our families, our children to the joy we have in Christ? How can we build joyful anticipation for the celebration of his arrival? How can we put on display the real, only, true, lasting, delightful joy in Jesus that was purchased for us on the cross that puts every other plastic joy to shame?"
May these advent resources help to intensify your joy in Christ this Christmas season!