An Astounding Mystery About Christmas
I truly love Christmas. However, those acquainted with me know that I'm not one for nostalgia or sentimentality. Lavish decorations, with colorful lights and adorned evergreens, have never been at the top of my list. There's an entirely different reason for my elation.
Traditionally Christmas has been a season for celebrating Kingdom fulfillment. Even fear-mongers and those gripped by apocalyptic concerns seem to be willing to sing songs about "peace on earth" during this season. The liturgically-minded will join with backwoods fundamentalists in acknowledging Jesus' earthly intervention and glory.
For a short period of time, we all seem to agree that the fullness of time has come.
The other day I was reminded of this beautiful truth as I read the following admonition from the Apostle Paul: "When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman...so that we might receive adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:4-5).
Eleven months out of the year our religious rhetoric is about an unfulfilled longing. Our Sunday morning sermons are peppered with phrases like "one of these days." Throughout most of our calendar, it is unquestionably asserted that God's Kingdom and power are "not yet."
Yet, during Christmas, we find ourselves embracing the language of fulfillment and completion. We gladly declare that God invades human history with miracles and inexplicable kindness. It is a message so compelling that even the unbelievers take notice.
It's sad, but as we take down the tree and pack away the lights, we also tend to "box up" this beautiful message. As the page is flipped over to January, there will often be no more talk about residing in the "fullness of time."
Christmas is truly wondrous because it reminds us of who Jesus is and what He actually accomplished. For a brief moment, we believe that we're truly living in a season of biblical fulfillment. For that, I am truly delighted.