Some people are always excited when Christmas approaches. They can't wait to pull out the tree, decorate the house and crank the Christmas carols. There are others however, that are a little less than full of the Christmas spirit. While I will not come out and declare them as the "Bah-Humbugger's", I can say that we all need to allow the Christmas story to invade our lives in more powerful way.
We need to found our excitement about Christmas not upon trees, and presents, or even upon getting the family together. Don't get me wrong, those things are great, but they are an outcome of and not the reason for our celebration at Christmas.
Think about how strange the Christmas story is:
The creator of the universe who breathed life into being, steps down from his throne and humbles himself and is born as a baby. The baby Jesus is not just some cute and cuddly infant but this is God made human. More than that a fragile, unprotected, vulnerable human. If God was going walk among us, wouldn't it be simpler to take a full grown human form? Why does he subjugate himself by being born as a baby?
How weird is it that in God's choice to deal with our failing he chooses to become one of us, live among us, die in our place, and then rise from the dead? This is a really crude rendering of the gospel but it is also a stark reality that God takes it upon himself to restore us. When I think of how easily I can turn my back on those who have hurt me or worse yet how I can lash out at them. It is startling to hear that God's love and compassion is so great that he goes to great lengths to bring us back.
The Christmas story should shock and amaze us. This God who goes to such extreme lengths to show his love for us and his commitment to us. We need to discover the jaw dropping and scandalous nature of this God who does things we could never imagine or dream of. So as Christmas approaches, re-read the Christmas stories, and allow God's spirit to open your heart and mind in a new way. To see with fresh eyes the wonderful strangeness of what God has done, and the depth of his love for us in Jesus.