What is it about Christmas?

Published 3:17 pm Thursday, November 30, 2017


It’s that time of year again — “the most wonderful time,” as it’s been called.

But what is it about Christmastime that makes it so wonderful?

When I was a child, it was the wonder. When I was a student, it was the opportunity for rest.

Now, as a young professional, I believe it is each of these, but with a deeper essence of hope for the future made possible by miracles in the past — and deeper still, the nearly static anticipation for this future hope.

It’s a blessed hope.

Over the past few weeks, I have seen the reemergence of festive light fixtures on utility poles, car tops hauling Christmas trees, twinkling lights lining building structures, inflatable characters playing in make-believe snow — and more.

Even Clanton City Hall is playing holiday music for passersby on the streets outside.

It’s loud. And I love it.

The blessed hope that fosters wonder, anticipation of rest from labor and contagious generosity during the Christmas season is a hope available to all people because of one miracle “wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” many years ago, according to the book of Luke in the Holy Bible.

We all know the story.

However, the hope I speak of is more than a happy future or even the gift of salvation, as some Christian readers may suspect my conclusion is leading to. Certainly, it is a hope for Christians, and certainly it includes a happy future and eternal salvation. But the blessed hope itself is the return of the Savior who made both of these available to all people who would simply believe in him and accept his gift.

Sound like another famous Christmas character? Jolly fellow offering belief and distributing presents?

Childlike faith.

I began sensing this hope when I was in high school. I looked at the world and its current events, then I looked at my Bible and its prophesied events, and the blessed hope began stirring within me.

The anticipation children feel for the great appearance of Santa Claus in their homes during Christmastime is much the same anticipation Christians are called to foster and steward throughout the duration of their time on this earth.

As time draws near, let us look eagerly to the sky for the one who brings the greatest gift of all.

Merry Christmas, friends.