It is November and our country is faced with one of the worst controversies we have ever known. It causes the most heated debates on all forums and has split families. What is this controversy you say?
Christmas music and decoration – when does it start?
I myself listen, secretly, from somewhere around June 1st. Well, that may be an ever so slight exaggeration, but the point is that I fall pretty securely within the “Christmas as early and as long as possible” camp.
But there are those who vehemently disagree (within my own family). They are wrong of course. Just kidding. I can see their point. We don’t want to dilute the specialness (is that a word?) of the season or distract from the many other meaningful celebrations going on during this time of year. But for the sake of adult, mature debate (something sadly missing lately); let me point out a few of my reasons for Christmas love.
First, of course, is the general happiness that seems to come with the season.
My birthday lies just one week before Christmas. I have every reason to put off the carols, tree and lights in order to more appropriately celebrate myself. But that’s just it: I don’t want to just celebrate myself. There isn’t enough to celebrate with just little old me. The joy I find in the worldwide celebration of Christmas is a birthday present beyond compare! When I see someone smiling at a Christmas song or decorations, I can tell they are deep in a memory and a joy that is deeply personal yet so contagious.
Secondly, in addition to happiness, really the joy, there is also an acknowledgement of our losses.
This shared mourning can be a wonderful thing. I know it is a difficult time for some, but if we remember that there is pain and address it, and embrace it with warmth, there will be healing. Christmas is such a good time to begin healing from any disappointment or pain we may have felt through the year. We can find a warm, safe place to face the loss when we are surrounded by the light and warmth of Christmas and when we remember to surround others. What we learn in this season will help us find the hope and love we need to do whatever comes next.
My third and strongest reason for loving the celebration of Christmas is the name of Jesus Christ.
It is only in the Christmas season that you so often hear the name of Jesus proclaimed in places we humans have banned him. It warms my heart to hear the hope in His name coming from a speaker in a grocery store or mall. It’s like the rocks are crying out in places where we no longer speak the name of Jesus. Also, always remember, there is a reason that it gives us chills to hear “Oh Holy Night” or “Oh Come Let Us Adore Him” sung by someone who spends the rest of the year bringing attention to their own antics. This is what it sounds like to hear the voice of the redeemed (even if the singer is not yet aware of the power of which they sing). It is a glimpse of what it will be like to hear every voice in the world declare the Lordship of Jesus Christ and begin to joyfully follow Him.
You may think I’m crazy on that last point, and really, I wouldn’t blame you. It sounds crazy to say that Christmas music sung by some otherwise worldly artists is going to begin to save a world running as hard as it can away from Christ. But I do have a reason to believe that this will happen, and no it is not Kanye (though I have to say Praise God for the redeemed). It is something Jesus said to John when John came to him concerned that someone “not following us” was casting out demons in Jesus name.
“But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.’”
So, here is my argument, in a nutshell, for the early and often application of Christmas trappings and music: Love, Joy, Healing and most and best of all Jesus Christ proclaimed for all to hear.
Love you all,