We live in a “PC” world. Oftener and oftener the Christian’s worldview is shushed in deference to the agenda of the moment. My husband and I were talking just this week about the big divide we’ve seen this holiday season. Currently there is a media-driven rebellion against wishing someone a “Merry Christmas,” even though the malls are packed with Christmas shoppers and Amazon is busily delivering packages in time for Christmas morning. “Happy Holidays” is the new trend and to wish someone a “Merry Christmas” is unbelievably considered offensive.
The thing is, what is considered “PC” is ever-changing. It’s tough to keep your finger on the popular pulse at any given moment these days. I think that’s why the response of both the angels and the shepherds of the nativity stand out to me so much this year in particular –
Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!” vv 13-14
the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. v 20
These last few days of the season, I want to challenge myself to live expressively in light of Emmanuel (“God with us”), the One for whom Christmas was named. I want to live uncensored in my praise of Him. I want my words and actions to express my beliefs. Like the angels and shepherds, I want glorify Him in an expressive way, that those around me may know the reason for the season by what I say and do.
On that note, I wish each of you a heartfelt Merry Christmas!
I have collected nativities since 1990. I like to have them in every room in the house during December as a constant reminder of what I’m celebrating during this season. With holiday shopping, parties, decking the halls, filling shoeboxes, providing for angels, and just plain making memories with my minions, I can too quickly forget to focus on the birthday boy Himself. Maybe you can relate?
Several years ago I noticed that my mother-in-law, who has a beautiful collection of nativities herself, had one display of just the Magi. Just three wise men, all facing the same direction, all carrying different gifts, all quietly traveling toward something they couldn’t yet see.
I’ve thought about that partial nativity many times since first seeing it. The fact that the original Magi were attentive, that they weren’t casual observers of the world around them, but active and engaged, that they were looking for something when they “happened to notice” the star in the east. And the fact that they were expectant. They believed the Scriptures and combined with their knowledge of geography, astronomy and perhaps some other sciences, recognized the significance of the star’s appearance for what it was!
During this third week in December, in the midst of looking for deals or hunting down the “perfect” gift, ponder what it is you are looking for. What are you expecting this season?
Father, This time of year is so busy, so full of activity, to-do lists, parties, shopping, and stuff. Please, help me this holiday season to live in a more expectant way, with a heart attentive to You.