Merry Christmas, early this morning on 25 December 2016. It’s about 0300 hours as I write this. Sleep seems to come hard to me these days. I’m not sure why and I suppose it doesn’t matter. I’ll be up a few minutes, then back in the rack until it’s time to rise and start my day.
This is the first year I have not spent Christmas at home, well, at my house. When I sold my house in June, I had no idea where I would be when the holidays arrived. So, here I am sitting in a hotel room, early on Christmas morning. It’s not sad, really, but it is certainly odd.
This is the day Christians set aside to remember the birth of Jesus, the Christ child. It was an event the Jews waited to see for generations. The prophets promised God would send a deliverer, which he did. He just wasn’t the deliverer the Jews expected. The deliverance wasn’t from their physical troubles; it was from their broken relationship with God. That relationship was long broken by sin.
Jesus came to fix that problem. He came to provide access to God be restoring our relationship to him by forgiveness of the thing that separates men and women from God — sin. This he did, much later after the birth we celebrate today.
So, today is the day I remember, celebrate, the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ-child. He is God-incarnate, fully God and fully human. He came to restore my access to God, which he did and I will celebrate that gift when Easter arrives. The dates are irrelevant; the remembrance and celebration are important, as is the act of faith that reconciles God’s children to God.
Merry Christmas, friends, and Christ is born. May there be peace on earth and goodwill to all, even in these times when it seems peace eludes us.