A Letter From Our Pastor: A Steward’s Response to the Ultimate Christmas Gift
Christmas is America’s favorite holiday. The effort we put into decorating our homes and churches, the money we spend to buy presents for family members, friends, and coworkers, the hours we devote to addressing Christmas cards and attending seasonal get-togethers is staggering.
Whatever’s next, Valentine’s or Halloween, or Thanksgiving, can’t hold a candle to our investment in Christmas.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas, too. But I’m afraid that many of us somehow miss the main reason for our Christmas celebrations.
I’ve sometimes heard people say things like, “Getting everything ready for Christmas becomes so hectic, I don’t want to do it every year. But, you know, Christmas is really for the children.” I’ve also heard people say Christmas is about the hope a newborn baby brings to the world.
Both those sentiments are wrong because they’re too limited. Christmas is really for adults! Of course, many of our Christmas customs are indeed for the children. And it’s true that the birth of any baby brings joy and hope to all those around. Yes, many of our Christmas celebrations are centered on the children, and the birth of a child offers a promise for the future.
But I’ll still maintain that Christmas is for adults because, at Christmas, we celebrate not just any baby, but a particular baby. And we celebrate this birth because of Who this baby is and what He did as an adult, and only those with an adult faith can fully appreciate the significance. Any human baby is certainly a wonderful creation made in the image of God. But Jesus is more than that, not less, for He is God the Son, Who took on human nature to redeem us from the results of the sin into which we had fallen. He didn’t stay a baby. He grew up and taught and preached and healed. Finally, He was put to death “for our sake” as the Creed affirms and rose from the dead. That’s why we celebrate His birth more than 2,000 years later. That’s why normal routines are suspended for a few joyful days each year.
Yes, Christmas is for adults. And it’s for children as well, for people of all ages benefited from this birth. In response to the gift the Father gave us with the birth of His Son, we joyfully exchange gifts with each other and share with the poor and offer our gifts of time, talent, and treasure to the Church. God gives to us; as stewards, we do our best to faithfully use those gifts.
A joyful and blessed Christmas to all of you, whatever age you are!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Steven Arisman, Pastor