So many things make up Christmas. The color’s – red, green and white. Christmas has a distinctive feel to it – even a smell to it that can make even the most hardened Scrooge smile. Then there’s the food and the family gatherings that bring everyone together. Whether it’s the music or the movies played, traditions usually make Christmas special to us all. The cutting down your own tree as a family. Standing under the mistletoe. Decorations. Lights. The excitement of buying gifts for those you love and seeing their face as they open them. Eggnog. More eggnog. It’s good. It’s good. It’s good.
But there may be no more popular tradition than the exchanging of gifts around the Christmas tree. What’s hidden under that tree? Everyone looks for gifts with their name on it. Picking it up. Examining it from all sides. Shaking it as they put the present next to their ear. As if it’s actually about to whisper what’s in it. Someone inevitably starts to count the presents. How many are there for me?
What’s hidden under your Christmas tree?
More than the best gift ever. Greater than the amazing deal found online. Much more important than the new outfit or latest gadget, there is something hidden under that tree as we gather around it that is good for our soul. It is togetherness – as family. It is love, peace and unity. Hidden among the colors and ornaments and presents is the joy of seeing others happy over what they received. It is truly childlike.
If we aren’t careful, just like we will miss what’s really under the tree, we will miss what Christmas is really all about. I am convinced that the most important things in life aren’t the experiences we have, but the people we have them with. Over two thousand years ago was the first Christmas. As Mary & Joseph made their way into Bethlehem that night there was no parade. No lights. No presents to exchange and no tree to gather around. The people of Bethlehem were going about their business like they did everyday – not noticing who was about to enter the world at their doorstep. Who was among them was way more important than anything they were doing.
God entered their world, our world, that first Christmas – in the form of a baby.
The people of Bethlehem probably didn’t notice a king was born among them that day. That day was an ordinary day. Work to be done. Dinner to be made. Dishes washed. All the while, hidden among them was greatness. Do you realize greatness around you? In you? The people of Bethlehem would probably have laughed had it been pointed out to them that day that the savior of the world was there in the arms of a teenager.
Those that missed what was hidden among them that first Christmas night didn’t miss it because they were evil or bad. They didn’t miss it because of any past sin, failure or mistake. They missed it simply because they were too busy with their own lives to really notice. Sadly, I have to admit I sometimes miss His presence for the same reason today. Just like a tree and presents underneath has a hidden meaning of love, giving and togetherness; Christmas, in today’s culture, holds it’s on special yet much hidden meaning.
Christ – he was among the people of Bethlehem then and His presence is among us today – in your home and I pray in your heart.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
And we beheld hid glory….full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Merry Christmas. I pray the God of peace would satisfy your every need in Him this Christmas season.