I arrived home in July from South Africa and shortly afterwards the Christmas decorations appeared in the shops. I’ve often been guilty of complaining at how early they come out (marketing and money etc etc), but this year I was delighted. I was delighted because it reminded me that this year I would be spending Christmas (my favourite holiday) at home with my family.
However, by early November the suspense got the best of me. I felt that Christmas should have come already and my enthusiasm began to wain. In the past, I have put Christmas decorations up on the 25th of November, a month before Christmas, but this year I had no heart for it.
When today dawned I began to get worried: the first of December was here and still no enthusiasm! Had I lost the joy of Christmas? Had commercialism finally ruined it for me?
Months of Christmas decorations and marketing, but no mention of Christ, the reason for the season. Flashing lights in stores, but no mention of God, who created light through His spoken word. Then flashing lights appeared on the streets, but still no mention of the Light of the world; no mention of our Saviour.
Praise God I proceeded to rush to church despite my low spirits (and having slept in). There I had the JOY restored to me as we lit the first advent candle, the candle of HOPE, and read some Scriptures linked to Christmas and Christ’s coming.
The joy and love within continued to grow as the day lengthened. I began to reflect on the Light of the world, Jesus Christ, who came down to be with us. I finally put up the Christmas decorations and it was a celebration. Joy touched me again as I set up the tree with Mum, thinking about my wonderful Saviour. This continued into the evening when I attended my first carols of the season. And so I forgot the hype in the shops and focused on Christ instead:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:1-5
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14