I used to be one of those people who hated any talk of Christmas before December 1st. I didn’t like seeing the decorations in stores before the Florida heat had dissipated or hearing Christmas carols before my Thanksgiving turkey. But several years ago I read the quote below and God started me on an journey of embracing Christmas all year long.
“In the month of December, he strikes both the secular and sacred spheres of life with sledgehammer force. Suddenly, Jesus is everywhere, his presence inescapable. We may accept him or reject him, affirm him, or deny him, but we cannot ignore him. Of course he is proclaimed in speech, song, and symbol in all Christian churches. But he rides every red-nosed reindeer, lurks behind every Barbie doll, and resonates in the most desacralized “Season’s Greetings.” Remotely or proximately, he is toasted in every cup of Christmas cheer. Each sprig of holly is a hint of his holiness. Every cluster of mistletoe is a sign he is here.” -Brennan Manning, Above All
That quote by Manning is by far one of my favorite Christmas quotes. It reminds me of the triumphal entry in Luke 19 where Jesus admonishes the Pharisees that if Christ followers won’t praise him then even the very rocks would cry out to their King.
Let us remember that we need the Christ child all year long, maybe even more so than at Christmas. We need him in the spring to remind us of the suffering of the cross and the brutality of humanity. We need him in our darkest hour to remind us that God is not a stranger to human pain. We need the child even in the bounty of the fall to remind us that the God of the universe humbled himself and came down to earth with nothing.
In our comings and goings, wrapping and unwrapping, baking and eating, let us remember Jesus. Let us truly live like this season is about his birthday. May we remember that every Christmas light, every wild shopper, and every poinsettia exists for his glory alone.
(This post was originally published on December 12, 2011.)