Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Future

      Only 364 shopping days left until Christmas....hurry, hurry, hurry or you'll never be ready. The malls are beckoning, the ads are overwhelming, the media is frantic in its efforts to lure us back into mass consumerism. Sales! deals! unbeliveable prices! are beckoning, seducing, luring us to leave our homes and families and battle the post-Christmas crowd to participate in a shopping mecca, a journey all in preparation for a holiday that is politically incorrect in our culture. Don't dare mention the birth of Christ, a Savior, a gift of salvation or redemption. Just hand over your credit card or cash and claim a stake in Santa and have a merry holiday or whatever.
      The Christmas Day so highly anticipated, so furiously prepared for, so eagerly awaited, has only just come and gone, is only an infantile "Christmas Past." Can we possibly be turning our attention already to Christmas Future? Have we even paused to remember what the anticipation, the excitement, the joy are for, or do we simply switch gears and begin planning for the commercial side of Christmas future?
Today is a day for reflection--to smile on the memories of children wild with visions of Saint Nicholas, of families gathered together in laughter and joy, of carols and candlelight and "Silent Night" and most importantly, of the gift of salvation bestowed on an undeserving world by an amazing Savior.
     Tummies are still full from yesterday's feasting, presents have been sorted and stacked into various piles, leftovers are disappearing at a rapid clip, ribbons and boxes and bows have been hauled to the trash, and those family members remaining in town are either napping, fiddling with new gadgets and gizmos, or watching bowl games on TV.  The post-Christmas lull has settled in; a quietness had replaced the joyous noise of the previous morn. I have succumbed to "post-holiday rest syndrome" and retired to a spot on the couch, from which I will only budge to sneak a sinful bite of Gypsy Cake or perhaps one last sausage ball.
    I revel in the change of pace, the slowness of the day. Today is the day to enjoy all that has occurred in  preparation for the celebration of Christ's birth. We bring Him gifts of family, gifts of sharing, gifts of joy, gifts of love...all because of His birth, which we have celebrated in the past, celebrated in the  present, and will continue to celebrate in the future. Even in a world that denies His diety and tries to camoflage His birth with secular joviality, we will celebrate the reason for the season, the CHRIST of CHRISTmas. Merry CHRISTmas yesterday, today and in the CHRISTmases of your future!

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