Emily asked a few weeks ago for people who celebrate Christmas to write about why the season is meaningful, not just how busy we are. It's a fair request for someone who does not celebrate Christmas to make. Here is my answer.
This year I was asked to consider ways to remember Advent -the season of waiting and reflection in anticipation of Christ's birth. I have never honored Advent personally before, so the question was not something I've ever had to answer. The question I have asked of God all month is, How am I supposed to reflect on waiting, when the entire month is filled with activities? I don't have time to reflect this month. Also, who enjoys waiting? Why would I put energy into reflecting on it? And the word I've heard in response is "Emmanuel." God With Us - first in Bethlehem, then here, now. Because of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, God is with us. I can have fellowship with God, and God can be a part of my daily life. The phrase has given a new meaning to the busyness of the season. In every cookie exchange, Christmas card, trip to ride the train at the mall - in other words, in every way that my family has taken notice of the season, "God with us" has echoed in my mind. Every activity has become a celebration of the truth in the phrase.
The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and December 25 is the day set aside for Christians to celebrate that. Thanks be to God - for the fun of Christmas and the meaning behind it.