Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
December 25, 2019
I’ve talked to a couple friends, co-workers, students, and strangers who echo similar sentiments that this year feels less “Christmassy” than ever before. There are fewer Holiday decorations in the neighborhoods, commercial shopping centers, and on Emory’s campus. Christmas music is faint in restaurants and your favorite department stores. In fact, I’ve yet to decorate my own home because of the expenses attached to elaborate sparkling decorations and I cancelled Christmas on family and friends because of my expended budget lol. Yet, I look forward to going to my mom’s house during Christmas because I know the lights will hang high and bright inside and outside. The tree will stand tall decorated in colorful garland and ribbons from top to bottom; while the aroma of good Naija cooking fills the atmosphere. Although it hasn’t “felt” like Christmas other than going to my mom’s house, it’s important to denote the real reason for the season. As magical as Christmas seemed in the past, the décor, festive music, gifts, family gathering, and good food is not the ultimate purpose of Christmas.
The purpose of Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ, the son of God. As a disclaimer, I am a Seminarian and aspiring Theologian that fully acknowledges the historical development of Christmas and the traditions that were held in this season before claiming it as Christ’s birth (lol I may discuss this another time). Moving on, this fact does not take away from the intended meaning of the holiday we celebrate today.
The story of Christ’s birth is outlined in the beginning of Matthew & Luke. Both authors described the events leading to the birth of Christ and the significance remains, the Savior of the world interrupts humanity humbly and discreetly. You may or may not know but Dec 25th is more than likely not the day Jesus was born (as stated previously, will discuss another time lol) but it provides a day of observance for the most important birthday on every calendar around the world. The days leading up to Christmas is called advent which starts on Dec 1st and ends December 24th. Advent as described by Dictionary.com is the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, observed in commemoration of the coming of Christ into the world or a coming into place, view, or being; arrival. No matter what month the birth occurred, use your imagination to think about the last 24 days before the arrival of the incarnation of God in human form into the world. Think about what would’ve been going through Mary and Joseph’s mind. They had no idea what was going to happen. Would the baby come out bearing human characteristics and traits? Or would the baby be unrecognizable with angelic characteristics?? There’s so much that would go through my mind if I was carrying a divine birth!!
Overall the theological implication of Christ’s birth and the advent season that precedes directs us to the waiting and celebration of the son of God. Jesus’ birth is special for Christians because we are reminded of his divine humanity by the way of conception to birth. Subsequently, Jesus’ life is outlined in all four gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Jesus bridged the gap between the Old Testament law and God’s love. His life is characterized by providing, healing, and gracing everyone he encountered. Before Jesus died and ascended to the Father, he promised that he would return to the world again. However, the second coming of Christ will not be as peaceful. Jesus’ return will be bringing justice to the world and all nations will bow without restraint to acknowledge his presence.
As you can see, Jesus’ presence on earth is monumental and it doesn’t only enhance the fulfillment of scripture it also shifted the calendar of the world. While in class, a cohort presented a project that pointed out the impact of Jesus’ presence on earth by acknowledging the calendar’s shift from BC to AD. If not aware, this marker is called “Before Christ” to "in the year of our Lord”, some may say After Death. These terms have been exchanged to BCE and CE (Before Common Era and Common Era) to provide a systematic representation on the arrival of a new age since the year of Jesus’ birth is still being traced by scholars till this day. Nevertheless, you can’t deny the original mentions of Christ in the calendar, there was an impact to the calendar because his presence was known and revealed to those who saw it fit to mark the possible date of his birth.
So, it may not “feel” like Christmas, but Christ is with us. We should continually acknowledge this season as an observance of what it was like to wait for the divine birth and now it’s the period of waiting for the Savior to return. Christmas is special because God chose someone who was willing to hold the divine son of God. This season is special because it distinguishes two eras in history. Therefore, use this time to celebrate the birth of Christ by giving gifts to those in need by way of volunteering at a soup kitchen or helping a struggling family with a monetary donation. Whether your home is decorated or not, always remember the reason for the season.
Until Next Time,