Today’s message is from Pastor Pam Sutherland of the St. Paul United Methodist Church & Fort Gibson United Methodist Church.
This week’s reflection was published in our December 10, 2021 newsletter. Because I tend to get a bit “bah humbuggy” during this holiday season, I needed this reminder.
“Christmas is for children.” Have you ever heard someone say that? I understand that sentiment.
I remember the wonder and excitement of Christmastime as a child. Growing up just across the river from Washington, DC we made the trip downtown each year to see the huge National Christmas Tree along with the row of smaller trees representing each state. There were always live “reindeer” on hand too! After enjoying the lighted trees we would stroll down the street to admire the window displays in the big department stores. On Sunday evenings we would light an advent candle, read the devotion for that week, then gather around the piano to sing familiar Christmas carols. Of course there was always the anticipation of Santa’s visit and all the presents to be unwrapped!
As a parent and grandparent I have known the thrill of watching my children and grandchildren discover the magic of the holiday as they see the Christmas lights on homes, decorate the tree, visit Santa, and enjoy all the special activities that only happen at this time of year. When seen and experienced through the eyes of a child it is truly a magical time!
Without children around to bring the wonder and excitement to Christmas, it can be easy to slip into a “bah humbug” state of mind and lose our Christmas spirit. Maybe we think we’re too old, too sophisticated, or just too tired to experience the magic. I’ll admit that I don’t put up as many decorations, bake as many cookies, buy all the presents, or do all the things I did when my children were little. Some days I even feel a bit “bah humbuggy” myself.
Even though some of the magic of Christmas fades as we get older, the coming of God in human flesh is still something that should instill wonder and excitement in our hearts and minds. To think that God loves us (all of us) so much that He was willing to leave the beauty of heaven to live among mortals, be rejected and crucified on our behalf, just to prove His love, is nothing short of amazing!
Perhaps when I feel like I’ve lost my Christmas spirit, when the magic of Christmas is difficult to find, I should come humbly as a little child to the manger and the cross to remember what Christmas is truly all about.
May you experience all the wonder and excitement of Christmas as you celebrate the birth of our Savior.