Looking at the centuries-old traditions surrounding Christmas, Christians through the ages cannot celebrate Christmas as just a one-or-two day experience. The saying is well known over the past decade or so: "Jesus is the Reason for the Season." However, this saying begs the question: "Who is this Jesus?" Why all the centuries-old traditions around this one person?
We Christians know why the central core, essential meaning of Christmas extends far beyond celebrations on the 24th and 25th of December. Christmas truly is "more than a day." This Jesus is more than "just a person." Jesus is God-in-the-flesh, God Incarnate, Immanuel, "God with us." Christmas celebrates the fullness of God's divinity coming fully into this creation of God's own doing, inseparably joining God's very self to the fullness of our humanity. Human words fail us and we simply are reduced to calling it a mystery. What else would we call it, wherein the fullness of God and humanity become mysteriously one and is named Jesus?
It is the ultimate "Break-in." The uncreated one and only God breaks into the very creation God creates of our nothingness, driven by God's eternal Self, the very essence of Love in order to save and reunite us with God and God with us. Little wonder, Christians over the centuries extend this Christmas Mystery over a twelve-day celebration called the Christmas Season. From December 25 through January 5, the celebrating joys of Christmas flow through our spiritual lives, even though most of the world stopped with December 26 or when the last of the Christmas decorations are packed away for another year.
So, in truth, God's coming into the world named Jesus to save us is the reason for the Season of Christmas. But it's too long and too mysterious to fit onto a bumper sticker. So, we will spend the rest of the year exploring this mystery of faith active in love called "Immanuel,"..."God with us" in the person of Jesus. I pray you are as eager as I am to take this journey of faith, empowered and fueled by God's grace and Holy Spirit.