Christmas in Brief
Christmas is over! Santa is back at the North Pole taking his winter break. The baby has been born and is lying in the manger. It’s almost time to put the decorations away until next year. The boxes are ready and waiting. The tree is drying out. We are no longer awed by the Christmas décor around the house.
What do you remember about this Christmas? (ask the congregation to share) It was only yesterday after all! How about the weeks before Christmas? Did you do anything special then? (ask the congregation to share)
Yesterday, Christmas morning, my son and I were looking at our phones – we weren’t using them and ignoring each other. I noticed his had three cameras and mine had two. I wondered why a phone needed more than one camera to take pictures, so I opened the camera app and looked at the options. There are quite a few – photo, video, portrait, panorama, cinematic, slow-motion, time-lapse. Who knew! Of course, I had to try all of them out using my son and husband as test subjects. Each feature served a different purpose, creating a different viewing experience. The time-lapse is intriguing and fun. When you play the video back with this option the action moves at a faster speed than the original.
Christmas can feel like a time-lapse video. All the preparations – planning, decorating, buying gifts, cooking and baking, time with family and friends, Christmas Eve, and the actual day itself – seem to take a lot of time. But looking back, it seems like a everything happened faster than it felt at the time.
Today, the day after Christmas, we are already looking ahead. 2022 is less than a week away (it starts on Saturday!). We are ready to take down the decorations and are making plans for next year.
Before we move on to next year, let’s stop for a few moments to look back at the snapshots of the past couple of months. Today’s service is a review of Christmas. A parting shot, if you will, fired over the bow of the Christmas ship asking us to stop for a review of the story of the birth of Jesus. Through the scripture readings and the familiar carols, we are taking a brief look again at the Christmas story.
We have all heard the cliché, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” It’s a bit cringe worthy maybe, but it’s true. We celebrate the season of Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the one whose coming changed the world.
This season is about over. What next? Pack up Christmas and prepare for the new year, the next season, or whatever is coming up sometime in the foreseeable future.
You have probably heard that we shouldn’t put Jesus away in a box with the other Christmas decorations until it is time to get the manger scene out next year. We should carry the nativity forward throughout the year. Practically, that can be a challenge. Do we keep the manger scene set up for the year? That won’t work for me. Mine is set up on the sideboard. I have other things to put there including the stuff that we pile on the table that needs to be moved if we eat there. Plus, it is fragile, so I run the risk of a piece getting knocked over and broken.
The answer might be to have a memento, a keepsake that we can put in a prominent place as a reminder that Jesus is still present even after Christmas is over. Good news! You will be making your own keepsake in a bit for you to take home as that reminder. We’ll be doing a simple craft together.
Jesus is the reason for the season – and all the seasons to come next year and beyond.