But today is a very unordinary day – a day that stands out from any other day of the year.
Today, the world holds its breath for those brief moments that bridge the gap between today and that oh-so-special tomorrow.
Many children will try to stay awake all night casting their eyes to the stars, hoping to catch a glimpse of one shooting across the sky.
Some people will make a mad rush to the mall or the nearest Target to grab those last minute gifts – praying that they’re not closed yet.
Families will be gathering around a roast beast tonight, or sitting closely together on church pews, singing about the holiest night in the history of mankind.
The night a baby was born. A baby that created the world.
And a baby that would grow up to change the world.
And we look forward to that grown baby returning once more soon to transform the world.
Christmas is a holiday that is unique.
Whereas other holidays celebrate or remember the past, Christmas extends its arms backward in time and forward.
We pause and reflect on the wonder that was, and anticipate the wonder that will be.
If the candid birth of a king that would not be recognized on His time on earth is so catastrophic, so pantomime – imagine His return when not a single person, loyal or not, will be unable to not bow their knee in utter reverence to Him.
Christmas celebrates the birth of Earth’s king, while it cranes its neck forward, leaning in, and begs that king to reclaim His throne and reign supreme forevermore.
Christmas celebrates the past and the future.
But in the present – from midnight tonight to December 26th – what are we to do? How do we reflect and anticipate? How are we to both remember and long for?
Simply pausing. For one meal of the year, let the meal itself last longer than the scrubbing of the dishes.
Put work aside, if you have a choice, and know that money can always be made for the next 364 days.
Laugh with your kids, embrace your wife, tell your husband you love him.
If you’re still awake at midnight tonight, keep those eyes in the sky, but look not for eight reindeer – but imagine a star once shone brightly on a manger showcasing the birth of God whose reign would extend much past his three-day death.
And when the wrapping paper is in the trash and the last spill of Egg-nog has been cleaned up, and the last Christmas show has been watched on the eve of December 25th, stop.
Don’t think about the mundane 26th – that most dreadful and dreary of days where Christmas has passed and winter remains.
But think beyond that day. Think future-ward to the day when the Christ-child will return, not in a bed of straw, but on a flaming chariot.
That night, when He returns will not be so silent, but oh, will it be holy! That triumphant night, that holy night, that night that wipes away every December 26th, and does away with lingering winters, and every day, from that day on will be like Christmas for those who believe; remembering the past, and living in the future.
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