The Candles and lights of Christmas have been the backdrop for most of my special seasonal memories. Those hours spent at home with family–the smells of cinnamon and spice rising from the oven while cookies bake, wrappping gifts with holiday songs filling the house, and finally ripping into those shiny gifts under the tree on Christmas morn have all been sweetened with flickering, scented candles and soft glowing lights. They create the mood of the holiday weeks we celebrate, remembering the birthday of Jesus.
I do not despise the conventions of the season–no matter how commerialized they become, no matter how early they creep into our lives. Christmas decorations at Target on the aisle over from the Halloween costumes doesn’t send me into orbit. I rather like it.
I know it is all plastic and feeble–nothing compared to the genuine gold, frankincense and myrrh the magis brought to honor the babe born in Bethlehem. They recognized His kingship and authority. They put out the best they had and journeyed far to present it.
Whether you like seasonal Christmas conventions or not, it is a time when the weary world pauses to say, “Peace on Earth. Goodwill to men” because a Savior was born. I have traveled internationally during Christmas and lived abroad, and most of the world is engulfed in the holiday in some form or fashion. The practices and traditions vary, but they are present and screaming out man’s desperate desire for true peace, true hope.
That is why I am not surprised on my WordPress dashboard to find in the search engine phrases, “Christ child” over and over. That means people are “googling” facts about the baby born in Israel long ago. Some are true seekers, who want more than facts, trying to fill their God-void with some grains of truth during this festive season.
Now I know some believers may disagree with me, but I believe we will remember Christmas in heaven in some way. How can we not? And it will not be with the plastic shine of today, but it will be someway to mark the importance of the gift God gave. I think we will remember that Jesus came to earth and how the angels sang and how the humble shepherds and wise scientists of the day sought him. This event stopped and restarted time on earth. That is something we will not forget in heaven: The magnificent gift that God gave. Paul calls it in the New Testament, “God’s indescribable gift.”
So here’s for fleeting sparkle, conventional shine, commercialism in the worst way–it all says: “People stop–Your Deliverer is born.” And if you don’t think people aren’t waiting for a Deliverer than rethink the past American presidential elections. The people spoke: They chose a present-day Messiah figure because they want a new start, a new day, a new beginning.
And in this season of light–no matter how plastic–I am more hopeful than ever. Although the economy may get worse, the state of world affairs are on the brink of disaster, I am enjoying great peace as I pause with the world to consider the true Deliverer, the true Messiah has come.
All this plastic shine will tarnish and even melt one day in the light and glory of the one true God and His Son. There will be no need of light in heaven because the Lamb of God will be our light. That’s when I will put away my plastic shine and gaze into His radiant face, His eyes brilliant as fire, His love consuming all the wood, hay, and stubble of this world. I am longing for that day… until then the glitter of this word just ain’t so bad… it illuminates the dark night for a moment…