I love it that the classic tale, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is still being revamped and retold since it was first published in 1957–sixty-three years ago! Why? Probably because its message still has relevance to us today, especially during a year like this, when a big Grinch named COVID-19 has been stealing so much from us all year long. It’s more important than ever to remember Christmas isn’t about stuff, food, or winning the prize for the best light show; it’s about something much more meaningful–or it’s supposed to be, anyway.
When you really think about it, we have far more distractions at Christmas time than the citizens of Whoville did, and certainly far more than the people who were alive when Dr. Suess wrote his story. They didn’t have cell phones, online gaming, hundreds of TV channels, the constant pull of social media, or the amped up commercialization frenzy that forces Costco to start selling Christmas things in July. Yikes! We’ve got to work harder at setting those distractions aside if we’re going to truly embrace Christmas and its potential power.
I like the word, “intentional,” and although it seems a bit overused at times, I think it’s a really important word, especially when it comes to helping us stay focused on the things that are truly meaningful. Intentionality is why I started this advent series; I felt the stress of the season–actually, the stress of this year–looming over me, threatening to keep me from enjoying the glories of the Christmas message. I wanted to lose myself in its true meaning and forget everything else. I’ve been pretty successful, thanks to being intentional! Although I must admit, the stress of cranking out a post every day sometimes got in the way of my Christmas spirit.
I don’t think anyone can explain the message of Christmas better than Linus in his famous speech from, A Charlie Brown Christmas, which is based on Luke 2:8-14:
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God j in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (ESV)
Tomorrow is the BIG DAY! Do yourself a favor: Ignore the noise cluttering your mind and bringing confusion, and instead focus on what the true big news story is.
Happy December 24th!
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