The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Christmas Day, 2022
Amid the happy moments of the Season, I experienced a particularly sad occasion upon hearing a lady describe what Christmas means to her.
"It primarily means family, and being together, gathering to enjoy one another's company, share a meal and gifts, and being glad to have time together."
The woman responded during a tour of her beautiful home in New York City, which was decorated with lovely trees, wreaths, and all the elements that have come to characterize so much of the Christmas commemoration and festivities. I enjoyed seeing the fruits of her creativity and her obvious desire to make the Season something special to family, friends, and to her own heart. One could not see her home without appreciating the time, effort, expense, and obvious delight she expended to commemorate Christmas.
My sadness, however, resulted from the woman's response that Christmas means to her not the heart of the Season, but rather its trappings. I so wish for her and pray for her that in time to come, she might respond to any question about what Christmas means to her with this:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Every tradition and observance of Christmas bows before this, the heart of what it means. I believe we can appreciate and enjoy the elements of the Season without doing injury to its wondrous essence. However, that essence must be so central in our devotion and response that nothing else compares. Christmas is Christ, the remembrance and affirmation of His entrance into the world, and of all that will eternally proceed from the wonder of His incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and coming reign. Yes, we could lose everything else that graces the Season, but if "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" abides, so will Christmas and it glorious meaning.
"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
Weekly Memory Verse
"But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering."