As a child, Christmas was filled with excitement and wonder.
The school was on holidays (enough cause for excitement alone), we would decorate the tree, sing carols, anticipate the presents, watch the Christmas TV specials, get together with relations, eat lots of food. I would even set traps for Santa and anticipate a catch. I only wished we could have the snow as well to make it a ‘real’ Christmas like I would see on TV.
When you grow up however, you begin to lose that wonder and excitement about Christmas. The Santa trap has worked and instead of thinking about getting presents you begin to think about the cost of giving them. Sure, there is the time off, the food and parties but that childhood wonder is gone.
But it wasn't like that for the handful of grown ups who knew what was happening on the very first Christmas.
They were filled with wonder and awe at what was happening. The shepherds quaked at the sight of the angel surrounded by the glory of God as he brought them the message, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." (Luke 2:10-12)
That first Christmas wasn't parties and presents, food and decorations yet it filled them with wonder and HOPE! God had sent them his Son, the Messiah, a Savior for all people!
They knew good times but also the bad. They knew of war and oppression, they had felt the pain of broken relationships, they had struggled with guilt.
Their world, like ours, was groaning under the bondage of sin.
Yet there in the manger they looked upon the one whom God sent to bring peace. Only a babe then, but as a man, to die for their sins. As a grown up, may your Christmas be filled with wonder again as good news of the angel touches your heart, "a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."
The Churches of the Camden Haven invite you to join them as they celebrate this message of hope in one of the services over the Christmas weekend.
Rev. Greg Bruggemann
North Haven Baptist Church
On behalf of the Camden Haven Ministers Fraternal