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The Joy of Christmas

The joy of Christmas isn’t rooted in magic, it’s rooted in hope.  And that doesn’t have to end on December 26th.”

I am a self proclaimed Christmas elf.  Everything about Christmas excites me and always has.  I’ve always had trouble sleeping on the night before Christmas.  It started because I was excited that Santa was coming, moved to being excited about what the following day would hold, and now it has turned to an excitement over seeing my kids’ reactions on Christmas morning.

My children are 4 and 6 and are fully engrossed in the magic of Christmas. With everything from Santa, to reindeer, to creative placement of elves across our home they are in a state of constant excitement.   Few things make me as happy as listening to my 4 year old little girl explain to me the intricacies of how Santa comes down the chimney or my 6 year old running to find us and show us what predicament the elves on the shelves got themselves into this morning upon their return from the north pole.

I know that one day the magic will endBut joy isn’t the root of the magic of Christmas.  It’s rooted in the hope that Christmas brings.  The hope that we can be happy and jolly for a little bit longer.  The hope that we can be with loved ones for a few more hours.  The hope that, as Kris Kringle on Miracle on 34th Street says, there really is the “human ability to be able to suppress the selfish and hateful tendencies that rule the major part of our lives”. The hope that was given because of the incarnation of Christ; that we aren’t alone and we aren’t forsaken.  The Israelites waited 400 years between the last time they had heard from God and the birth of Christ, but the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ ensures we don’t have that type of separation ever again.

“The magic of Christmas is not really magic at all. That’s what makes it so sustaining.”

The magic of Christmas is not really magic at all.  That’s what makes it so sustaining.  The magical feeling isn’t based in the necessity of fiction, rather, it is based in our focus of the season.  As we grow we can either continue our focus on a magic that is no longer present or we can shift our focus to the hope that is so prevalent at this time of year.  This isn’t the “reason for the season” lecture, but it is about the reason for hope.

The incredible part of the gospel is that, regardless of your income, your need, your status, or your opportunity, the same offer is made to all.  The are no prerequisites, there are not standards to be met, only submission in our hearts to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who came in the form of a child, in an inglorious setting, to be the sacrifice that we so desperately needed but were so vastly incapable of offering.  The hope that we experience is because there is not futility to life.  It is not simply about trying to overcome the day with no hope for tomorrow; rather we thrive in the day because of the hope that we have not only for tomorrow, but for today.

The joy of Christmas isn’t rooted in magic, it’s rooted in hope.  And that doesn’t have to end on December 26th.

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