CAMPUS MINISTRY

What does Christmas Look Like?

Craig Kraft / Wednesday, December 18, 2019

 

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”

That familiar phrase keeps coming to my mind as I notice more and more lights, decorations, and Christmas music. This iconic phrase keeps drawing me back to the deep philosophical question of, “What does Christmas look like?”

An Ideal Christmas

I know the ideal Christmas looks different to each one of us.

I wonder if God has an ideal image of Christmas that he wants to develop in our minds.

For many, thoughts of Christmas involve family gatherings, festive decorations, and the smell of our favorite seasonal foods. For some, the look of Christmas is a decorated tree that is shadowed by heaping mounds of brightly wrapped presents. For others, the look of Christmas is more like a Norman Rockwell or Hallmark image, or the beautiful December page in our calendar.

In spite of the various ways our cultures decorate, some of us picture Christmas with a tiny baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger, surrounded by livestock, shepherds, angels, and wise men.

The First Christmas

God wants the arrival of his son to be remembered with celebration, decorations, and gift-giving. As we go back to that first Christmas, we start to notice some of the intentional decorations that God provided for the party.

The creator of the universe didn’t need strings of lights. He used the stars, and he made one shine so bright that it was seen from the Far East.

God didn’t want the night to go unnoticed, so he decorated the starlit sky with a host of angels to provide a musical backdrop for the grand event.

Instead of festive cards and invitations, the heavenly host issued the welcome to special guests who brought the first living nativity scene to life.

In days of old when they didn’t have the speedy delivery of Canada Post, delivery was slow. It took about two years before the wise men arrived with their presents. That would have been quite a sight to behold, probably numbering close to 100, with camels, carts, and flowing robes as the entourage arrived bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

I don’t think God minds the decorations, music, and traditions that have become such a big part of Christmas. It is clear to see that He was busy trimming the tree in his special way that first Christmas. He wants his son’s arrival to be a celebrated event. He is blessed when we take the time to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas: The gift!

Christmas Questions to Ponder

How will your Christmas celebrations look?

  • Will you be surrounded by the warm embrace of festive decorations and Christmas music?
  • Will you be gathered with close friends and family?
  • Will your celebration include the recognition of Jesus, God’s priceless gift to a longing world?
  • Will your celebration focus on sharing with others?
  • Will you include hospitality toward a stranger or one less fortunate as part of your celebration?

As we plan our celebration, this year, let’s remember to take time to reflect upon The Gift of Christmas, Jesus Christ, who was born into this world to be our saviour!

 

Craig Kraft served as a pastor in BC and Alberta for 16 years before joining OC in the area of Church Health and revitalization. Craig and Heather, his wife, served with OC for three years in southern Africa before he became the Executive Director of Outreach Canada in 2008. If Craig had some free time, you'd probably find him watching sports, working in the yard or spending time in the woods.

 

 


print


...

Charles Taylor and the Modern Quest for Identity
Pre-eminent McGill University Emeritus Philosopher Charles Taylor is an iconic international scholar in the field of the late modern self.  Millennials are currently facing a significant existential identity struggle an...
Read more...
Everything is New in 2020 in Light of the Incarnation
God’s word of love becomes flesh in us, is embodied in us, is enacted through us and in doing so, trust is forged between word spoken and the reality of which it speaks, between the words we speak and transcendent reali...
Read more...
OC Reads: One Thousand Gifts
OC Reads: Book Recommendations from OC Team Members. Read Gord Carkner's recommendation for Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.
Read more...
The Prayer of a Student Skeptic
Dear God, Buddha, Allah, Plato, Krishna, Beings from other planets, Jesus, Confucius, Zeus, Ra, the Universe, the Great Principle, etc. Is anyone out there? Pluralism is confusing. Could you get together, have a ch...
Read more...
The Great Escape from Nihilism
This book is about a journey: out of the confines of nihilism into the heart of meaning. It presses the question: Does nihilism have the last word? The book addresses a contemporary crisis of faith, a crisis of identity...
Read more...
Campus Ministry
Sparking lively dialogue about the powerful implications of the Christian faith for academic work and personal life, through scholarly campus forums and small group formation.
Read more...
Dialogue on Jesus
There exist today in the minds of people many different versions of Jesus. Cultural interpretation is a key factor in this dialogue. Few would dispute that Jesus is a historical figure, that he is  public truth . He is ...
Read more...
 

 

2 - 7201 72 Street Delta BC V4G 1M5