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‘Keeping Christ in Christmas’ reminded me of the song: Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in your heart; Somewhere, deep inside you, is where Christmas really starts; So, give your heart to Jesus, you’ll discover when you do…. That it’s Christmas, really Christmas for you.
Jesus brings warmth like a winter fire, a light like a candle’s glow; He’s waiting now to come inside, like He did so long ago; Jesus brings gifts of truth and life and makes them bloom and grow; So, welcome Him with a song of joy, and when He comes you’ll know…
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus. Steve Russo painted a comprehensive history of Christmas, and you may be surprised to read that nobody knew the exact date of Jesus’ birthday. Early Christians did not observe the festival of Christ’s birth, nor did they attach the same importance to His birth that they did to His death and resurrection. Christmas had to wait more than 300 years to be celebrated in any meaningful way.
It does not really matter when is the exact date of Jesus’ birthday, what matter most is that Jesus was born and He came to bring us eternal life. The question is, how do we respond to Christmas – the birth of our Saviour Jesus?
The Early Church established a useful program called “Advent” to observe Christmas in the fourth century, a time of preparation. The length of time varied between three to seven weeks. In the tenth century, an agreement was reached in the Western World that Advent should consist of four Sundays. The first Sunday of Advent occurs on or near 30 November. While always including four Sundays, the season may vary in length from twenty-two days to twenty-eight days, always ending on Christmas Eve. If you want to help your family to find their focus in Christmas, you may want to observe the Advent which is mentioned in detail in Chapter 9 of the book (page 125).
Steve Russo’s concluding remark: We must make every effort to keep ‘Christ’ in Christmas, never losing sight of the fact that Christmas is the birthday of our Saviour. That is the reason we celebrate. Let’s look for creative ways to tell others ‘the reason for the season’. And let’s do all we can to help as many as possible experience God’s ultimate Christmas gift this year!