If you grew up with siblings, you may remember their birthdays. I remember my sister getting showered with gifts, attention and the first piece of cake. We were pretty competitive, so her birthday was an exercise in patience that usually pushed me to the edge. The worst was when Mom or Dad would remind me, with my tear-stained red cheeks after I’d inevitably passed the breaking point, “Remember, this is your sister’s day. This is not your day.” They were right, of course. That didn’t mean I liked it.
It’s fascinating, though. When I remember those same words around Jesus’ birthday, they hit me just as hard, but this time with comfort and love.
It is so tempting during the Christmas season to think it’s about me: What food will I prepare? What will my house look like when guests arrive? Will I be filled with the Christmas spirit, or will I be sad about the people who aren’t with me? Will my Christmas fund run out before I get a gift for everyone? It’s enough to suck every ounce of joy out of the entire season.
But then my Mom and Dad’s words come charging back, “Remember, this is not your day.” Hallelujah! Christmas is completely, totally, 100%, not my day! Christmas is God’s day! It’s God’s day to come and show us real, unending, vulnerable, perfect love. It’s the day Christ shines God’s light in all the earth: to the lowly, the lost, and even to me.
This Christmas, join me in giving glory to God that it’s not OUR day! It’s God’s day to reveal God’s unending love and the lengths God will go to give that love to all the world. That’s a day I can celebrate! Amen?!