Sunday, December 25, 2016
DECEMBER 25 "Bah Humbug..., IT'S CHRISTMAS"
I wonder how many readers we will get on Christmas Day? Christmas Day is such a celebratory day. With phone calls and visits and dinners, where does Jesus fit in? Then you actually do take the time to sit down and read your One Year Bible on Christmas and you are reading about judgment in Zechariah and then we are faced with even harsher reading in Revelations about Jesus and the bowls of Judgment He is releasing upon the earth. It's not very Christmassy reading, to say the least. It would be so neat if we picked up the One Year Bible on Christmas Day and it just so happened to be a reading on the Christmas story; instead we are faced with doom and gloom. It's almost as if we and Jesus are not on the same page on December 25th or December 24th for that matter. It's not often that Christmas or Christmas Eve falls on a "church day" but it seems that when it does it turns out to be an inconvenience to us. It's almost as if Jesus is getting in the way of our Christmas celebrations. Catholic Churches are flourishing on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but statistics show that Christian Denominational Churches tend to have poor attendance on those same days. It is almost as if in our stance to be "anti-religious" we are swinging way to the other extreme and almost becoming irreverent or aloof to the Celebration of CHRIST, ie: CHRIST-MAS. And when we pick up our bibles on this day to read our portion it seems as if our stance is confirmed as we read nothing even remotely close to what we are experiencing on Christmas Day. Perhaps JESUS and His angels are not in Heaven celebrating Christmas with us on December 25th. Any Historian and/or Theologian will tell you Jesus was never born in December any way. And so our One Year Bible reading today is surely not going to give us warm, fuzzy, Christmas feelings (as a matter of fact you may put it down) and it will not reinforce any kind of religious connotations to this Christmas Day, but if we are not careful we can go to the other extreme and come off as irreverent and careless to the day. The fact is, the world celebrates this day as a special, religious holiday in celebration of Jesus Christ and we who claim to be the true followers of Jesus must find a balance somehow between the religious sentiment to the holiday as appossed to making it more than it should be. I would hope that the sheer difference between us and the rest of the world is that in a few days. Jesus and the manger scene gets packed up and "put away" for another year and we keep him out for the rest of the year and continue to sing, "celebrate Jesus celebrate..." Not just on December 25th but on January 25th, February and so forth. Is December 25th really just another day? Maybe so....... there is no sentiment in our reading today to reinforce any other conclusion, but if the world wants to pick this day, to celebrate our Savior; then why not jump on board rather than say, "aggghhhh, Bah Humbug, this is religious, I'm not celebrating" after all, isn't any day, a good day....to celebrate Jesus?!