The Christ of Christmas

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6-7

I’ll not soon forget the Christmas we received no presents. My siblings and I were young enough to still believe in Santa Claus so you can only imagine the heartbreak experienced waking up on Christmas morning to an empty tree, a foodless kitchen, and the absence of merriment. As a child it was the death of belief, the death of imagination, the beginning of an ongoing reality and disappointments of life.

It’s hard to reason why something that is depicted as so real can come crashing down to barrenness and emptiness. As I got older I was determined to fulfill the idea of Christmas by making sure that Christmas was never empty or barren again but I did it with things, perishable things, things that didn’t deliver the merriment expected. In fact, after Christmas was over life still felt unfulfilled, bleak, lifeless, and dark (having no light). What did I miss? I did the things that were suggested to provoke good will, joy and happiness, peace on earth good will toward men or so I thought.

There is something wonderful about the “coming of age” especially in the wisdom of Christ. Christmas really isn’t about the overselling commercialism of retailers to make one happy but many of you already know this. It is much deeper than that. Christmas comes from a combination of words, mass and Christ. Christ comes from the Greek word “Christos” which comes from the Hebrew meaning “Messiah”. And mass is when we come together to commemorate the Last Supper, and or Eucharist, Holy Communion as you identify it. We have translated Christmas into three wise men who came bearing gifts to celebrate the birth of Christ but Christmas is so much more than gift bearing it is gift receiving the gift we received in the embodiment of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Today I know what Christmas means and it lives in my heart every day and I pray it lives in yours too!