Christmas is sneaking up quickly this year. It seems to be coming quick than any other year. It took forever for Thanksgiving to arrive, but now that it has passed the Christmas season appear to be going at warp speed. It’s a festive time of year. It also is a controversial time of year. Carols bundle up to brave the cold weather while the vigilant watch prepare their spiritual canons for the ever popular war against Christmas. I will probably share my thoughts on this war of Christmas at some point, but for today it is merely a peripheral point in my real goal here.
We are easily getting swooped up into the craziness of life. It seems the time we do spend on Christmas can often be based out of worrying how others are supposed to celebrate Christmas. This year I have heard of people who do not celebrate Christmas for the simple fact that Jesus did not celebrate Christmas. Apparently Christmas is not a Biblical holiday. Isn’t Easter the holiday that really matters?
Christmas plays a crucial role in it all though doesn’t it? It marks the beginning. Christmas is D-day. Christmas is the beginning of the invasion. Seriously. Christmas is an invasion of God coming back to reclaim what is rightfully His. It may not have looked like much of an invasion, but it was the most intense one this world will ever know. The enemy understood what it was. Why do you think characters like Herod were mentioned in the Christmas Story? The enemy realized this was an invasion, and he did one any enemy does to an invader, attempt to eradicate them.
Only three paragraphs in, and my thoughts likely feel jumbled, the truth is they likely are, but they all diverge into one cohesive concept. It is not just the day of Christmas that is Biblical, but the very anticipation of Christmas as well. Scripture is filled with prophecy of the coming Messiah. The world anticipated salvation. And longed for freedom. Israel may have physically been out of Babylon, but the world itself was still held captive to a spiritual Babylon.
Think about World War II. Peoples that were held under the rule of Hitler and his allies longed for freedom. They anticipated the day when a new invasion would begin. An invasion to take back their freedom. I have no doubt there was much anticipation over the idea of it all. It is easy for us to lose our own anticipation though. We don’t let our hearts groan with creation for a time when all will be set right. We let the business of life crowd it out far too often. No wonder some people don’t get the specialness to Christmas. How can you celebrate something when the very concept of celebration requires anticipation first?
I have a recommendation to everyone who reads this? Find the time to live with anticipation this Christmas. Be willing to get carried away with a little excitement. This marked the beginning of the invasion. This marked the beginning of something the world did not even realize it needed, and was so sorely unprepared for. This marked the day of the invasion. The day our king graced our shores with his steps. The day something had happened that the world had not felt since the garden. It is on this day we remember the invasion. It is on this day we remember Emmanuel. The king and God who walked among us.