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Christmas is here.
After the long anticipation of Advent, we’ve arrived. It’s time to rejoice in the fact that God came to dwell among us, and to rest in the fact that His sacrifice allows us to approach His throne unashamed, set free of our sins.
It’s a day for gathering with family and friends, and maybe even exchanging gifts, too… but no matter what popular thought might tell you, that’s not the point. The point is Jesus.
It was always Jesus. It was never about the warm, fuzzy feeling of gazing at the faces assembled around our holiday feast, or about the joy reflected in a child’s face as he rips paper from yet another package. It was always about Emmanuel, Logos, the Second Adam, the Light of the World.
Christmas is here.
Having waited so long, I can’t—won’t— wish it away. And tradition gives me a reason to prolong the celebration. From Christianity Today:
Sometime in November, as things now stand, the “Christmas season” begins. The streets are hung with lights, the stores are decorated with red and green, and you can’t turn on the radio without hearing songs about the spirit of the season and the glories of Santa Claus. The excitement builds to a climax on the morning of December 25, and then it stops, abruptly. Christmas is over, the New Year begins, and people go back to their normal lives.
The traditional Christian celebration of Christmas is exactly the opposite. The season of Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and for nearly a month Christians await the coming of Christ in a spirit of expectation, singing hymns of longing. Then, on December 25, Christmas Day itself ushers in 12 days of celebration, ending only on January 6 with the feast of the Epiphany.
Which model sits most easily in your heart? Which seems to echo more fully the depth of the miracle we receive in the coming of the Messiah?
Today, as you count your blessings, as you bask in the glow of an Advent season fulfilled, consider The Twelve Days of Christmas. Consider what it would be like to reflect, just a little longer, on the Incarnation. We are offering this short, beautiful devotional for just 99 cents this year, in the hopes that you and your family might soak in even more of the liberty we have been given in being followers of Jesus.
Merry Christmas, friends. May this season wrap you in awe and gift you with wonder as you consider the great love so lavished on us!