I suppose the weather we’ve had recently could in one sense be called “Christmas-y”Â in that, like a holy infant, it has been mostly “tender and mild.”
Sixties and low 70s during the dayâ€”cool crisp nights with the brightest, full moon I canÂ ever recall seeing. The rising moon was so bright on ChristmasÂ Eve, and with a planet hanging close alongsideÂ that I hit the Sky & Telescope web site to see if there was anything special about it.
Indeed, I discovered that the moon and Mars were both “in opposition,” which means they were directly opposite the sun (relative to earth). Which translates into extra, double-plus brightness. I’m telling you, looking directly at that moon almostÂ required sunglasses. It was something.
I’ll leave you with what is my favorite Christmas verse of scripture. It is one not normally associated with Christmas but it captures what the holiday means to me much better than any other:
Philippians 2:5-11 (NASB)
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,Â who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard [His] equality with God a thing to be [selfishly clung to],Â but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,Â so that at the name of JesusÂ every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,Â and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
That’s the good news of Christmasâ€”God the Son, suddenly, shockingly being found “in the likeness of men.” Breathing our air. Walking our sod.
That’s also the challenge of Christmasâ€”the charge toÂ follow the exampleÂ of the one who did not cling to His rights,Â privileges and pleasures. But rather became an obedient servantâ€”living and dying for others.
And that’s the promise of Christmasâ€”that one day,Â the knowledge of His glory will cover theÂ Earth as the waters cover the seaâ€”as every creature acknowledges the truth about He who came.
And we can avoidÂ the rush and start now.