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A More Accurate Christmas Perspective
01 Dec Posted by Neil Olcott
I am sitting at my desk listening to a beautiful Christmas choir singing on Pandora and thinking about Christmas for 2011. This is the first year in the 53 I have been alive that I have been thinking as deeply and as biblically about Christmas -- 53 years of trees, wonderful presents, candlelight Christmas Eve services with wax dripping on the floor, parties, and family gatherings. Those are wonderful memories that cause me to give thanks to God.
Yet, I have learned something new this year. Even as a pastor for 30 years, I am ashamed to admit that I have not grasped the truth of Christmas at the same level I have this year. Maybe it is my age and I am finally experiencing some of that wisdom that supposedly comes with age. Or maybe it is just that now that I am leading this effort to start a new church and we have been involved in “re-thinking” everything that has to do with church, I have finally taken the time to step back and really, honestly evaluate what Christmas was originally and what it has become both for me and the Church.
Obviously God didn’t intend any of the hype we call “Christmas” today. We love to find reasons for a party and a celebration, and Christmas lends itself to such an inclination wonderfully. Everyone enjoys Christmas as we know it. But for some reason, I am for the first time in my life finally “getting it.” The prophecies we read from the Old Testament on Christmas Eve were not for Christmas as we know it and celebrate it. They were for people to be encouraged that God’s plan would one day be unveiled and set into motion -- a plan for all humankind to be forgiven the irremovable stain of their sins and to be accepted by God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Christmas is the inauguration of the Gospel taking life in God becoming human! This is great cause for celebration and worship. So this Christmas I am enjoying Christmas as never before because I am working hard to focus on the Christmas idea that God has had in mind since the beginning of time. It makes this time much more grand and more worshipful when I take in the full panoramic picture of the Good News about Jesus from Genesis to 2011. What a blessed Christmas!