By now most of us are suffering bloated stomachs from feasting or paper cuts from opening too many presents. And some may feel already a sense of relief or even of disappointment. You may have enjoyed the company of loving family and received that special present you’ve been hoping for, but really we’re longing for more. While the things of this world can bring happiness and contentment and pleasure, they cannot bring joy, the joy that is only possible in Christ Jesus.
Christmas is of course much more than all the good things we were able to take in today – all these things are shadows and symbols of what can truly fulfill us. Yes, Christmas can make us feel warm and perhaps make you want to be a better person. After all, didn’t Jesus preach love and forgiveness? Yes, but if we stop there, we are missing the point of the person and mission of Christ. God became Man not just to teach us to be nice to each other but to reconcile us and save us. Even more, he came to espouse himself to us.
No more shall people call you “Forsaken,” or your land “Desolate,”but you shall be called “My Delight,” and your land “Espoused.” For the LORD delights in you and makes your land his spouse.As a young man marries a virgin,your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you. – Isaiah 6:4-5
Christmas is about God proposing to us and inviting us to enter into his house and abide in him (Jn 15:4), and to partake of his divine nature (2Pet 1:4). At the Annunciation, 9 months earlier, Mary said yes to God, and the Son of God took on our human flesh and entered into our fallen humanity. The incarnation transforms our finite humanity and elevates it. God humbles himself over and over and gives himself to us to demonstrate his love.
So, while we settle into our late afternoon Christmas drowsiness, let’s not forget to thank God for offering us this gift of Christ who alone can fulfill all our desires and hopes. But even more, to say yes to his proposal.