There are probably as many answers to the question of the meaning of Christmas as there are people on the planet. In my estimation, it would be hard to improve on Linus' answer in A Charlie Brown Christmas as he steps on stage and recites from Luke chapter 2. He recounts the angel's "good news of great joy for all the people" message given to the Bethlehem shepherds about the birth of "A Savior who is Christ the Lord." Then Linus turns to his friend and says, "That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown."
Indeed! Christmas is all about Jesus - or at least it should be.
You know how, every now and then, someone makes a comment that's so profound it sticks with you for life? Well, here's one of those:
It was probably thirty years ago now. Anthony, Becca, Violet and I were at my parents' home for Christmas - on break from my pastoral studies at the seminary. Violet and I left the kids with Grandpa and Grandma for an afternoon of "spoiling." The two of us took a walk through the snow to visit some folks at the nursing home in town. One of those residents was the wife of the mechanic my dad had turned wrenches with at the local Chevy dealership. I started with some small-talk. Asking questions like "What did you have for Christmas dinner?" and "What did you get for Christmas?"
Mary brought my small-talk to an abrupt end with this comment: "David! Christmas is not about food and presents. It's about Jesus!"
I've probably forgotten 99.9% of what I learned in the classroom about being a pastor, but Mary's comment will - hopefully - stick with me forever. The simple truth about Christmas is that it isn't about food or presents or any of the other things we tend to make it about. It's about Jesus!
So, in honor of Mary St. John, "Have yourself a "Mary" Christmas!" (One that's all about Jesus!)
Pastor David Dauk