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Always Winter, Never Christmas

“It is winter in Narnia,” said Mr. Tumnus, “and has been for ever so long…. always winter, but never Christmas.” (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; C.S. Lewis)

When I was a boy, I received a football uniform with full pads for Christmas. It rained all that day, I stood at the front door in my parents’ home watching outside. At one point, my Dad slap me on the shoulder pads and with a grin said, “you’ll get to play plenty buddy, I promise…” eventually Mom just said go outside in the mud!

That day, my Dad knew something that I didn’t; that one day it would stop raining, that I would play football for years to come. Where I would play would grow bigger than the front yard, more adventurous, and more fun. He understood in that moment of my life the “already not yet”.

Deep down inside of all of us, this is a favorite time of year. As children we long for Christmas, as adults this longing never fully goes away, even when there is pain associated with it. During Christmas, we want to capture a thimble full of this special joy.

What is it about Christmas?

C.S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

We ache for something. It’s not more of what we already have, it’s a richer, fully, more complete version. We hold it for just a minute at Christmas before it slips through our fingers.

In a world with wildfires and earthquakes, injustice and poverty, entertainment and media run amok, and in life where we’ve all made mistakes and hide regrets, it’s no wonder we long for more.

 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” Matthew 1:23

At Christmas, we celebrate Jesus’ birthday, the Christ’s mass. Shouldn’t we know what this really means? He is called Immanuel, which means “God with us”.

John the Apostle wrote that the Word became flesh, God became human. Jesus did this to solve the biggest problem of humanity, our sin problem. He came to forgive us of our failures, remove our shame, giving us hope.

He completed this task at what we celebrate as Easter. He conquered the failures that break us and makes an offer of Grace and Salvation. He has already won this victory and this gift is already been offered. The culmination of this has not happened yet; “already not yet.”

So, yes, we love Christmas and long for more. Our hearts tell us the truth of Christ’s mass. Immanuel’s love for humanity and it points us to a future in which all things are made new.

Merry Christmas

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