Today’s Advent Devotion comes from John Chaffee. Check back each day for a new devotion.
I bet if you were to ask people to share their favorite memory of Christmas, no matter who you ask, you’re gonna get a good story.
My own personal memories of Christmas are filled with good times at my aunt and uncle’s place in Royersford, PA. All of us kids would sleep in a giant room on the second floor with our own sleeping bags, stay up way past midnight, and yet still get up before sunrise. Now hold on, this does not mean that we were able to go downstairs. Nope, we had to sit at the top of the steps until 7am when the parents would finally let us all storm the Christmas tree. Unfortunately, the staircase creaked like no other and there was no way to sneak down without making a noise or trying to jump the whole staircase without much of a run-up (trust me, we certainly debated the possibility of jumping the whole staircase).
Christmas is, without a doubt, a fantastic holiday. Of course, some people have mixed feelings toward the holiday itself, but that doesn’t diminish the deep lesson that comes to us through what that day celebrates.
You see, December 25th is the day that the Church has chosen to remember the most profound mystery of Christianity; God came to dwell among humankind. Rather than to stay separate and superior, God chose to join us on our level. We know this mystery as the Incarnation, as God taking on human form out of a loving desire to be with us and to share His life with us.
As I grow older, this side of the holiday becomes more and more important to me. Yes, the holiday is still filled with family, gifting one another, and plenty of classic Christmas songs, but it also helps to anchor me. Christmas anchors me because it preaches to me that the ordinary can be spiritual, because God became ordinary in the Incarnation.
May we be a people that remember Christmas as the time when God chose to come close to humanity in the birth of Jesus. May we be a people that see God in ordinary places and perhaps even help others to find God in the ordinary. And, may we, be living examples of the Incarnation in our very selves and be the presence of Jesus to all that we meet.
John Chaffee has been a teacher and speaker at Delanco the past few summers. He is currently the Director of Youth Ministries at Narberth Presbyterian Church in PA.