Christmas is a season that means many things to many people. For some, it is simply about sharing in celebrations, taking a holiday and having a good time. While for others it is a time of deep spiritual significance, as the birth, life, sacrifice, death and resurrection of Jesus are remembered. The Christian message is encapsulated in the words of the Gospel of John:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
At one end of the continuum of explanations of the meaning of Christmas, we have the biblical message of Christmas that John 3:16 captures, while at the other we have the secular message that Christmas is about gifts, family and a good time. In between there are many varied practices and traditions (not all mutually exclusive I might add). I wrote a post about a month ago that offered 28 wonderful picture books (here) that have many Christmas themes and span the entire range of interpretations.
|Christmas nativity knitted with pure Aussie wool!|
Whatever your understanding of the meaning of Christmas, I hope that in 2013 it will be a time of reflection, rest and great significance. I hope that in your experience it will NOT be a time of sadness, busyness and separation from loved ones. Might you experience and share much love, kindness, compassion and hope. I pray that all readers will be blessed at this special time; one which has its origin in a life that changed the world.