Christmas Eve – the night of anticipation. Every child awaits Christmas morning with eager, can-barely-hold-it-in excitement because of what is to come. Young children will scarcely sleep as they lightly doze off with dreams of cars, dolls, games, and various toys dancing in their heads. Parents will rest with smiles of anticipation as they think of the bright giggles and laughs they’ll hear from their children as they open all the surprises around the Christmas tree.
But all our hopes for tomorrow’s Christmas celebration can’t hold a candle to the white-hot fire of anticipation that consumed God’s prophets in the Old Testament era.
The darkness of sin enveloped our souls
Only faint shadows remained of Eden’s land void of toils
Once dwelling in the light of Eden’s oasis
Now sent from the presence of the Creator’s kind graces
We stumbled along the torn path of life
Groping and feeling our way through the strife
The anger, the hate, the pride rooted deep down in all places…
Kept its tentacles reaching across all time and spaces…
Over the last ten or fifteen years, various Christian lobbying and activist groups have been notifying me of the reality that many companies are “taking Christ out of Christmas.” So with great enthusiasm, I filled out petitions to various stores in order to encourage them to “keep Christ in Christmas.” After all, what is Christmas without a hearty, “Merry Christmas?”
The dull, placid remark, “Happy Holidays,” holds about as much cheer as “Grandma got run over by a reindeer.” And the thin veneer hung over the commercialization of Christmas and other associated holidays has become ever more sheer, so much so that I’m afraid my 5-year-old son is about ready to notice the proverbial emperor is no longer wearing any clothes. All sincere meaning seems gone…