Tuesday, December 25, 2012
The late notes of "Joy to the World" have faded in the air. The choirs have recessed. The pages have been turned away from the story of the Bethlehem story. All the watchers have abandoned the nativity scenes. Fire and smoke will no longer be seen above the Advent Wreath. The preachers have breathed a sigh of relief that it is done for another year. Worship Committee members put their heads together briefly after the Christmas Eve rendering of "Silent Night" to plan their return to the Sanctuary to restore its appearance to normal. Churches, so recently a hotbed of activities and programs, now lay in silent darkness.
It is a strange phenomena since today is THE DAY. Today is Christmas. Unlike Easter where everything moves toward Easter Sunday for a climaxing moment of worship, Christmas is celebrated out by the time the day arrives. For the church the Christmas climax comes before it and the day of Christmas comes and goes in most places with hardly a holy whimper. What we do on the day centers not around holy symbols, but around a decorated tree. What happens on this day does not center on Jesus, but on family. Please do not think me a Christmas Scrooge. Please do not think I am anti-Christmas tree, or against family gatherings. I vote for both of them as well as many of the other things which are viewed as traditional Christmas stuff.
It is just now that it is all done and I find myself left with only the stillness, I find it odd that on the day designated as the day of His birth, Jesus will hardly be given a thought and because of all that has gone on in our churches, no one will give the omission a second thought. And I cannot help but wonder what God thinks about the way we will give Jesus very little attention today. But, then again, maybe for Him, it is just like too many other days.