We had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed both Christmas eve and Christmas day services at our church. I love it when Christmas falls on a Sunday! As I sat listening to the Christmas sermon something caught my mind and sent it down a path. I was thinking about how Christmas is really about hope and new life; the birth of Christ and the fulfilment of the promises of God. It made me think that we should be celebrating Christmas in the spring when everything is fresh and new and summer is coming and the world is full of hope and new life, not the middle of winter! But then I immediately realized we celebrate Easter in the spring and that is even more about hope and fresh starts and redemption and it is more appropriate in the spring.
But do we really need to celebrate Christ's birth right before we head into the coldest and most depressing time of the year?
Then I remembered something I had been excited about earlier in the week. The winter solstice. From Thursday on I get a little bit more sunlight every day for the next 6 months! It will be a few weeks before the sun is still up when I leave work but at least I am headed in the right direction. The thought that will get me through the next couple months. It was bringing me a great deal of hope and joy this week. And there, in the middle of the Christmas service, I realized why Christians decided to celebrate the birth of Christ at this time of year. We are moving into the light.
I am amazed at how the subtleties of what God created can be used to magnify His glory.
So often those who do not want to acknowledge the Christ in Christmas will talk about how this is really the celebration of the winter solstice and we just stole the celebration. I have never been clear how that diminishes the fact that Christ was born in a manger, God became man, so that I might have eternal life. But now I find that it is even more God ordained a time. And maybe this time wasn't chosen to eliminate the celebration of the winter solstice but instead to magnify the one who created the moon and the stars and set them all spinning. And every December he causes the sun to shine on the earth more and more each day and we celebrate the Son coming to the world to shine His light on us.
And God said, Let there be light." and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness." Gen 1:3