"There's not going to be any Christmas in the house this year," the young mother sobbed. She was saying goodbye to the father of their little child as he was being called away to military duty. The news article I was reading did not divulge what she felt "not going to be any Christmas" meant. Surely this Christmastime would be a difficult and lonely one in their home. But, no Christmas?
Does Christmas mean having all the decorations, lights, foods, gifts, gathering with family and friends? Yes, all that yet much more.
Those externals may be there, but without Christ, it's not really "Christmas." Just as the world was in spiritual darkness and God, who knew the evil in the hearts of men, sent His only-begotten Son to be born a human and to lead men out of their sins and distresses, so it remains the same today.
How is it the whole world recognizes the day called "Christmas", yet all have not received Him into their hearts? The day of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth is so important historical events are divided between the times before His birth, B.C. (Before Christ) and the times following that birth, A.D. (the Medieval Latin, Anno Domini, in the year of our Lord). Even current delineation marks Christ as divider between B.C.E. (Before Christian Era) and C.E. (Christian Era).
Old Testament prophets foretold Christ's coming, "Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14) "...which is translated, 'God with us.' " (Matthew 1:23) The prophet Isaiah continues,"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined." (Isaiah 9:2)
It's time to welcome the Light of life into our hearts! We become "...His own special people, that (we) may proclaim the praises of Him who called (us) out of darkness into His marvelous light..." (1 Peter 2:9)
After the birth of John the Baptist his father, Zacharias, spoke under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and declared, "...through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:78, 79)
Let Jesus, our Dayspring, guide our hearts and feet to bring that peace the world so desperately needs! "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light..." (Ephesians 5:8)