Every year at this time of the season, I feel a distinct change in the air and I think to myself, ‘it feels like Christmas!’ The sound of jingle bells, the smell of a freshly lit fireplace in the neighborhood, and a crisp chill in the wind all make me want to don fuzzy socks and get cozy on the couch with a cup of peppermint hot chocolate, and enjoy the glow of the Christmas tree.
It’s humbling to think that many years ago Mary and Joseph had a drastically different ‘Christmastime’ experience: Instead of riding in the car listening Christmas carols on Magic 95.5 while looking at Christmas lights, I imagine a very-pregnant Mary grunting and attempting to get comfortable while riding on a hee-hawing donkey as she and Joseph trekked to Bethlehem.
They didn’t have cute, fuzzy socks to put on baby Jesus, just bands of cloth to swaddle him in a bed of hay in a wooden manger. The three wise men had one single bright light in the sky guiding them towards their new King, rather than a choreographed holiday light show (but that star sure was powerful!). They provided gifts of gold along with frankincense and myrrh oils, which do NOT share the same aroma as freshly baked sugar cookies and peppermint hot chocolate!
What ties the birth of Jesus and the current holiday season together is the reminder of God continually providing Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. As the angel declared in Luke 2:11 & 14, “Do not be afraid, for see, I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people…Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” May we continue to celebrate the joy and feel the assurance of peace that Jesus’ birth provided so long ago.