During the Advent season, everyone posted so many things that one more meditation would have been lost amongst all the devotional content in the blogosphere. Of course, the problem with writing now is that everyone is Christmas-ed out by the time Christmas gets here.
Everyone has been celebrating the newborn King for the previous month. Radio, especially, Christian radio, has been playing Christmas songs non-stop since Black Friday. Sure, there have been a few songs that could properly be called Advent songs, but there has been no distinction between the two lyrical genres.
Evangelicalism and modern culture have colluded to remove the significance of Advent. Evangelicalism wants experiences and modern culture wants them right now. Extended times of preparation – whether of Advent or, as will begin in ten weeks, Lent – are seen as unnecessary and inconvenient. The result has not been better experiences, but rather shallower ones. Like being Christmas-ed out by the time Christmas gets here.
But all this is now water under the bridge. Christmas is here. And just like Jesus wasn’t just here for a day, Christmas isn’t just here for a day. And He hasn’t just come to lay in a manger. He has come to rescue the world.
He effected that rescue in a sinless life, a sacrificial death, a triumphant resurrection, and a glorious ascension. Now he effects that rescue through His Body, the Church, as we re-take every inch of the world for the kingdom of God. Christmas is about a God-baby in a manger who grew up and walked among humanity for 33 years. But Christmas is also about us.
We are the spirit of Christmas – the spirit of the Incarnation – not when we give gifts and even do good deeds during December, but when we live out Incarnational love 365 days a year. God took on a human body so that we might become the Body of Christ.
Christmas is about the spirit of God living in us, so that we grow up and walk among humanity for all the years granted to us, being ever more conformed to His image and likeness. As St Athanasius put it in his work, On the Incarnation, becoming by grace what He is by nature. Or as the Apostle Peter put it,
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (II Peter 1:2-4)
Even as we participate in this divine energy, then in the Second Adam we begin to become fully human. God became man so that we might begin to fulfill what God designed man to be all along.
As we celebrate this Christmas season for the next 12 days, let’s think about – even meditate upon – how we can make it Christmas Day everyday.