December 1, 2020

Celebrate? Yes!

No matter what anyone says, the season is about Jesus.

Adventist Review Editors

Christians have commemorated the birth of Christ for centuries, always interpreting the circumstances of that singular event through their own lenses. Sadly, our sin-stultified imagination manages only an impoverished representation of the reality of God becoming human. Until Jesus returns we will always have to rely on imperfect speech and images to describe the genuineness of “God with us” (Matt. 1:23).—Editors.

“Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning—not home, but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last.”

Frederick Buechner

“And in despair I bowed my head:

‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said,

‘For hate is strong

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good will to men!’

“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

‘God is not dead, nor doth he sleep,

The Wrong shall fail,

the Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good will to men!’”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”

Hamilton Wright Mabie

“When purchasing gifts becomes the focal point of the season, we lose focus on what’s truly important.”

Joshua Fields Millburn

“Mary knew God loved her. From the moment Gabriel appeared to her, Mary had a distinct sense that God’s presence was with her and His hand upon her. She didn’t understand everything that was happening, but she was certain that God would be with her through it all.”

Stormie Omartian

“Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children; to remember the weaknesses and loneliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and to ask yourself if you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open? Are you willing to do these things for a day? Then you are ready to keep Christmas!”

Henry Van Dyke

“Mary did not understand Christ’s mission. Simeon had prophesied of Him as a light to lighten the Gentiles, as well as a glory to Israel. Thus the angels had announced the Saviour’s birth as tidings of joy to all peoples. God was seeking to correct the narrow, Jewish conception of the Messiah’s work. He desired men to behold Him, not merely as a deliverer of Israel, but as the Redeemer of the world. But many years must pass before even the mother of Jesus would understand His mission.”

Ellen White (The Desire of Ages, p. 56).

“As I read the birth stories about Jesus I cannot help but conclude that though the world may be tilted toward the rich and powerful, God is tilted toward the underdog.”

Philip Yancey