Today I was thinking about the effort we put out all day long Sunday and recalled a long past incident. This happened almost a quarter of a century ago. Our church put on a Madrigal dinner to celebrate Christmas that year. It was a massive amount of work. It proved to be a tremendous event, but wow was it exhausting. We did not push our kids to be involved in the program but they both wanted to take part. So we let them. Toby was about 5, Carissa was around 8 at the time. To say they were totally spent the day after big event would be a colossal understatement. At one point the next day due to being utterly worn out Toby had a total melt down. He dropped on the floor of our family room crying as he said to Laurie, “You hurt my feelings!” What terrible thing did Laurie say to him that caused such painful offense? She told him he needed to wash his hands after he had been to the bathroom! That little incident pretty much encapsulates how that whole day went.
It is somewhat amazing how much we disrupt our lives at this season of the year. At our house it involves redecorating the house, which requires an awful lot of work. We even bring special dishes in from the garage to celebrate the season. It means I have to deal with the frustration of trying to put up lights outside the house. Then there is the massive expenditure of time shopping for presents, not to mention the hemorrhage of money as we pay for them. Part of the celebration involves the total disruption of schedules for Christmas events and in many cases travel so the family can be together. While there are merchants who think all the upheaval is great because it means more money, that’s not the point at all. I think it is all worthwhile because at Christmas we are reminding ourselves that nothing in life can ever compare with the event that happened in Bethlehem two millennia ago. Because of that event we have real life as God intended. We have hope and peace! Our whole existence has been utterly revolutionized by the unimaginable thing God did for us through the birth, life, death and resurrection of his Son.
When our children got married it involved a massive amount of effort and the spending of a lot of money. Deservedly so. Those were the most momentous, life-altering events in their history. It made sense to mark out those days as special, to rejoice without reservation, and that’s just what we did. And so it is with Christmas. Nothing will ever come close to comparing with what God did when Jesus Christ was born into this world. Nothing. Nothing will ever come close to having the impact on our lives that act has had and will continue to have even into eternity. So of course we should expend ourselves in remembering it and celebrating it. It’s worth it all, for truly this is news of great joy. To me it makes perfect sense to enjoy all of it as we celebrate the phenomenal gift our gracious God has given us at Christmas. This is the biggest thing that has ever happened in the entire history of the human race, so surely our celebration of it should be the biggest thing that happens all year, should it not?