I recently had the great pleasure of enjoying a live Christmas Show at a local church – the Scottsdale Bible Church. It was extremely impressive – a full orchestra, chorus members of all ages, hundreds of performers, and a wonderful production. What made the greatest impression on me was that during the performances, several times, I sat there somewhat in a trance – the music, the joy, the celebration of Christ. And then it hit me that this was very much what Heaven will be like – Christmas without the stress – all of the joy, happiness and fellowship and none of the rushing around, long lines, or anxiety. A feeling came over me that I had not had in a while but hope will be with me again and forever.
The Christmas ‘spirit’ is something extraordinary. It transcends race, religion or creed. It changes us whether we want it to or not. Even non-believers get caught up in this underlying force that overwhelms our daily lives. It does so because of a very simple reason – it is the essence of the nature instilled into our creation by our Creator. The spirit has just become a bit foggy because of the influence this imperfect world has placed on it. The need to gather, the longing for fellowship and desire to celebrate Christ’s birth has become the ubiquitous office ‘holiday’ party. The giving of gifts (mostly stuff we don’t need) springs from God’s mandate to give the very valuable gift of ourselves to one another in service. Even the anticipation of receiving gifts is rooted in our longing and expectation of the greatest gift, our reunion with God Himself in the person of ‘the little lord Jesus’. The decorations, the fancy dress-ups and yes, even those hideous sweaters all mark a preparation for something special. Something special that we sometimes lose track of…Christmas is a little bit of Heaven here on earth.
So after all of the shopping, wrapping, cooking, traveling, parties and chaos, I pray that you take a moment or two, put on your favorite Christ-mas song (something with a chorus works well), close your eyes and allow yourself to feel what Heaven is going to be like…Peace be with you all.