We all have them. Christmas traditions. There are so many it is difficult to pin down a few that are common to each family. At least beyond the obvious ones like setting up a tree, singing carols, and unwrapping present. Traditions are what Christmas meant to me. Family is important, as are traditions, but there had to be a lot more. I wanted to figure out what Christmas meant to me.
There are many of us that make big schedule changes during this season. We can stay home or travel elsewhere. Most people have a drastic change in their lives during these next few weeks. Staying home oftentimes means spending time away from the usual routine and experiencing a little more leisure time. Traveling to meet family and friends elsewhere adds a different element than what is typical as well. I began thinking about what has changed in my life. On the heels of these musings came what changed between us and God because of this season.
One of my favorite passages in the scriptures can be considered an oft-forgotten Christmas verse. It is in Galatians chapter 4 and talks about how God sent Jesus to be born at the exact right time. As it continues, it reveals that He came to redeem people from a life of relating with God by rules. In its place is a parent/child relationship.
My favorite part is where the Spirit of God within us yearns to call God by an endearing name like Papa or Daddy. God put in our hearts intimacy over exclusion. Finalizing our portion of this passage is when we are told that because we are now children of God, we also share in His Kingdom and all that it has to offer.
As we go through this season of disruption and schedule change, I hope and pray that we all consider what God was doing through and in us all. We were created by God for relationship with Him and the beginning of His trump card was when Jesus was born. His birth paved the way for His death, resurrection, ascension and imminent return. It was the sole plan of redemption for us all. This is why I am thankful for this season. Now that is what Christmas means to me.
May the Lord bring you peace and joy during this season.
Jake and Shannon