The Power of Christmas
What is the power of Christmas? There are many answers. There is an economic answer: a successful Christmas and the Holiday season here and around the world can be the difference between making a profit or not. That is huge! There is a social answer: People connect with friends and family during this time of the year as no other. Family gatherings take place. Parties are held. Concerts are given. Christmas cards, e-mails and letters are sent. Countless phone calls, tweets and twitters made. We like to be in touch and get together, and a great celebration is a good reason. Now let’s try to look at this from God’s perspective (a tricky and presumptuous thing to do). In doing so maybe we will come closer to the real power of Christmas which has continued now for better that 2,000 years!
As I think of Christmas, I think of great music: solos, choral anthems, instrumental pieces and hymns. I think of sanctuaries decorated with symbols of Christmas all around: poinsettias, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, Advent wreaths and candles and Christmas trees. I think of great worship services which moved my heart. Moving something, anything, including a human heart takes power.
What is the power?
Christina Rossetti caught the answer in her beautiful Christmas hymn:
“Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely; Love divine;
Love was born at Christmas;…”
(From Love Came Down at Christmas)
Knowing that God loves each and every one of us and the whole world, in fact, the whole creation with an undying, unending, never fading love – that’s what Christmas is all about. God loves YOU! God loves ME!
At a prayer meeting on Aldersgate Street John Wesley felt his heart “strangely warmed” and knew in his heart that God loved him. That night Wesley experienced the inner witness of God’s Spirit with his own that he was God’s child. Paul put it this way in Romans 8: 16 “16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…” (NRSV).
“Love came down at Christmas…”
That’s the power of Christmas: God loves you. May you experience that love and the inner witness of God’s Spirit with yours that you are a cherished child of God.
I’ll see you in church!
Christ’s Grace and Peace,