The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
Is it the lights? Is it the caroling? Is it the Christmas tree? Is it the parties? Maybe it is being around family and friends! What is it that is so special about this time of year? Christmas isn’t just a day; it is a season. In the church, the season is called Advent, a season of waiting for the coming of Christ. For some, Christmas season starts the moment Thanksgiving is over. Moreover, for many retailers, the Christmas season started as soon as Halloween was over. So what makes Christmas Christmas?
If we took away the lights and the trees, would it still be Christmas? It can’t simply be our friends and family that make it special because they are around us all year long. I think we can all agree that there is something different about this time of year as if there is something in the air. People seem to be a little nicer and happier. Most people are more giving and selfless this time of year. The same homeless shelters and soup kitchens that are begging for volunteers all year long are suddenly packed with volunteers this time of year. As I was thinking about the Christmas season, I can’t point my finger to any one thing that I do that makes Christmas so special, yet it is.
As we enter this Christmas season, it made me think, what if Christmas wasn’t just a season, like summer, fall, winter, and spring that lasts a month and then we move on, but rather a way of life? What if we didn’t just buy gifts for people this time of year, but randomly throughout the year? What if being “nicer” wasn’t just attached to the Christmas season but part of our daily lives as being a Christian?
If we boil away all of the fluff that surrounds Christmas and we are left with its core, we are left with Christ, the anticipation of his coming, and the hope that we know in Christ as our Savior. That is something that, as Christians, we shouldn’t just celebrate once a year, but every day of every year. Christ tells us that he came so that we might have life, and have it abundantly. Not just for a season, but every moment of every day. Every time we celebrate communion we are to be reminded of the abundant life that Christ calls us to.
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, I encourage you to spend time tapping into the abundant life that Christ promises us. Once you find it, live it, not just for a season, or while it is easy, but every moment of every day, even when others aren't, because that is what Jesus calls all those who bear his name to do.