(Excerpts from Dale Evans Rogers' "Christmas Is Always" - Part 3 of 3)
"Someone is asking, "If Christmas is always, as you say, then why do we set aside December 25 - just one day in the year - to celebrate it?" Well, there's a lot of tradition in that, too. We might answer that question by asking, "Why do we stop work one day a week - on Sunday - instead of on Thursday or Friday?" The answer is that God gives us one day in the week to rest, to think about what happened last week, and what will happen next week, to renew our strength through prayer and meditation so that we can face whatever comes. We can rest on other days, too, of course, but having a special day set aside for this seems to impress upon us our need for refreshment, and for the remembrance that we need to stop and take stock of ourselves.
The same can be said of December 25: it is the yearly reminder that our Lord loved us enough to become one of us, to sacrifice Himself for us so that we might understand once and for all that God is, and always was, and always will be; that God is Love, and that love will win, even on a cross.
Love is the greatest power there is, and love is the meaning of Christmas. This is why we need a day set aside for remembering the "earth birth" of our Lord, who was Love clothed in human flesh. Christmas is the day set aside for us to ask ourselves whether we honestly love God and man. We need this day of spiritual inventory to clean out the old worthless stock of indifference and to restock our hearts and minds with the spirit of the Christ, to receive Him and give ourselves.
Christmas, my child, is love in action - When you love someone, you give to them, as God gives to us. The greatest gift He ever gave was the Person of His Son, sent to us in human form so that we might know what God the Father is really like! Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas! . . . He gave His most precious possession in heaven, His own Son!
We need to see His Son beyond the gilt and gadgets of Christmas, need to see Him in the manger, in the streets, on the cross. Hilda W. Smith put it beautifully once:
The Carpenter of Galilee
Comes down the street again,
In every land, in every age,
He still is building men.
On Christmas Eve we hear Him knock;
He goes from door to door:
"Are any workmen out of work?
The Carpenter needs more."
Christmas is like that: like the walking of Jesus, like the moving of the Spirit from the days when time began to our own times, like the redemptive purpose of God working out its way in our lives through the One born as Bethlehem.
Yes, my child, Christmas is always, for Jesus said, "Lo, I am with you always . . . " and Christmas is Jesus!"
May God bless your Christmas and the coming year!