Christmas’ True Worth

Dec. 11, 2011

John 1:9-10, 14

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came to the Father, full of grace and truth.

My neighbor, Tina brought over a poem she wrote last year during the Advent Season. It fits right into the reason why I decided to do this Advent Devotional this year. Last Sunday, Tina shared this in church. And with her permission, I share it here:

Forgive us our sins, Dear God

At this Christmas time,

We should take a moment to give you thanks

As we stand in yet another line.


But we don’t give you a single thought

Because our minds are too busy racing

Planning the next six stops to make,

And that “gotta have it” gift we’re forever chasing.


Who has time to think of you?

We have to find a place to park.

Thank goodness the malls are open late

With all the fluorescent neon lights

Who notices when it gets dark?


Maybe we’ll find time to think of you

For an hour on Christmas Eve

And that is if we decide to go to church.

We might remember that we believe.

But all the cookies still need frosting

And last minute party invites start to appear,

So we decide the service is what we’ll skip,

Better try again next year.


It appears we’ve buried this holy day

Under a mountain of unimportant things,

We’re so busy endlessly talking and talking

We never hear the angels sing.


The colors and lights of our parties

Are glittering and sparkly bright,

But they blind us from those

Who cry out for food or safety from a war

That doesn’t stop for the night.


How could we possibly remember

The meaning of this day,

It’s enough we remember gift receipts as the hours tick away.

And that annual Christmas letter

We still have that to do,

All the wonderful things we include in it,

We forget they’re all blessings from you.


Still the end of Christmas season finally comes

And we box up all the garland and lights,

It all goes back in the basement

On a shelf and out of sight.

We’re glad to vacuum all the needles

And put things back in their place

At last a time to just sit

And rest from the dizzying pace.


But then we see it

Tucked in a corner by the chair,

A stray Christmas ornament

That fell through the branches

And all season stayed hidden there.


We pick it up and look at it closely

It contains the Christ child’s gentle face

And that’s when it hits us,

The only reason for Christmas

We let stay hidden

While we joined in the commercial Christmas race.


We’ve forgotten

That on that cold angel-filled night

Perfect love was born on earth.

And shamefully we’ve given everything else

Far more value and worth

Than the birth of that one baby

That wise men came seeking.

They worshipped him the Savior

But to his mother who sang to him

He was her newborn son

Who lay peacefully sleeping.


And so on the rare occasion

When we linger outside and look up

At your uncountable stars,

Forgive us for ignoring you

And remind us that the path to you is not far.

If we walk close to you

Everyday through the year,

Then when next Christmas comes

It will find us near

To the manger and the baby

Who was God here on earth

And we’ll rejoice with the angels

For we have found our way back

To Christmas’ true worth.

Fortunately, it’s not too late to remember the true reason for the season this year. Tina – thanks for these wonderful words as a reminder of why we even have a Christmas holiday.

FYI – if you come to Midland UMC’s “Live Nativity” tonight, Tina will be Eunice, the noisy lady from Nazareth who also went to Bethlehemduring the census. She’ll be looking for Mary and Joseph, to see if their baby has arrived.

O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray. May your face be what we see as we journey through Advent this year. Amen.

Blessings –