Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reflections on Advent – XII

Next year Christmas will be on a Sunday. The last time it was on a Sunday some major churches in the United States closed for the day; a Jewish friend of ours asked, “What’s going on? Some Christian churches are closed for one of the two holiest days of your year.” What could we say?

Let’s see, as I recall some of them closed so people could be with their families; then others closed so they could save money since they knew that they’d have sparse attendance. Why would they have sparse attendance? Because it was Christmas! Now that’s great isn’t it? That’s rich! Stupid me, thinking that Christmas is about Jesus. To really display my stupidity, I thought Christmas was particularly about Jesus in the church, especially that segment of the church that professes a high view of Scripture and a love for Jesus; but the churches I’m writing about are churches who profess a high view of Scripture and a love for Jesus…the good news? My wife loves me even though I’m dumb and dumber.

In Matthew Chapter Two we see echoes of the Book of Exodus. We have a Pharaoh in the person of Herod; young boys are being murdered; Egypt plays a role, though it is reversed role. In Exodus Moses leaves Egypt and then returns to Egypt in order to deliver his people from Egypt; in Matthew Jesus’ family goes to Egypt for refuge, then returns from Egypt to Israel in order that Jesus might deliver His people from their sins. In Exodus God appears first in a burning bush, then on a mountain, then in the Tabernacle; in Matthew and the New Testament God appears first as a baby, grows to manhood, is executed and rises from the dead, and then appears in His people (His enduring and eternal Tabernacle).

Now the above would seem to give us warrant to gather as His people on Christmas; even when it inconveniently falls on a Sunday.

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