Pat Jones: A Christmas question
December 17, 2010
Christmas is a time of joyous celebration for so many of us.
We gather with family and friends to exchange gifts and watch the children play with their much-anticipated toys, eat specifically prepared holiday foods and attend special Christmas church services.
In the stores, on the radio and at church, we also enjoy the Christmas music that is so much a part of celebrating the season.
A favorite carol, composed by American authors, is "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." The third verse of the carol goes like this:
For lo! The days are hast'ning on,
By prophets seen of old,
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When with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.
The reason we have such a joyous celebration this time of year is the familiar story of Christ's birth, which is repeated through the stanzas of most of the Christmas songs, in the plays and skits our churches and Christian school children perform, and in Scripture throughout every part of the Bible.
But, have you ever pondered the end of the story?
Philippians 2:5-11 tells the Christmas story in a different way.
Paul starts from the beginning of the story, eternity past, while Christ was "still being in the form of God," and leads us through to the conclusion of the story, in verse 10 and 11:
"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
In these few verses we can see and know that the reason for Christmas, the celebrated birth of our Risen Savior, was just one part of God's plan, not the whole story.
We should take the time to focus forward this Christmas season, even as we celebrate the birth of Christ, with all of the rich traditions we enjoy.
Prepare your heart to the future time, the end of the Christmas story, when Christ returns from Heaven as King of Kings.
Add this question to your family Christmas traditions: "Are we ready for the Christmas story to end?"