There’s the secular celebration, with Frosty and Rudolph. People in stores wish us “Happy Holiday” and we may feel like asking, “Which one?” I’m tempted to wish store clerks “Happy Holiday” on Presidents’ Day and the 4th of July.
And there’s the other world, a world of wonder. We come to church and re-focus. We are reminded of why this is a special time. It’s not just the presents and parties, it’s not the decorations (and there’s nothing wrong with these things). The only thing that matters is the coming of Christ to a world in great need.
The two worlds frequently intersect. When they do, we’re given a wonderful opportunity to communicate JOY to the world. There are some Scrooges out there, some skeptics, even some pagans (who only observe the Winter Solstice), and many for whom the holiday is entirely secular…but there are also some who see the wonder and are open to hear the Good News of Christmas.
CS Lewis summed up the message of Christmas: 'The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.' This is the message we proclaim to a world weary of the stresses of the season. To a people who have bashed expectations, we offer something firm and unchanging. The Messiah is born and can be born in us.