But that may be because the traditional Christmas spirit is based on an atmosphere of family, gifts, food, and decorations. When money is tight, all of those things can be hard to come by.
The "meaning of Christmas" is no more about family than about gifts. It is about God becoming a man to free the burdened and oppressed:
"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. ...
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end." (Isaiah 9:2, 6-7)
When we gather, God willing, with our families we should be thankful first of all for a God who "made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant" for our sakes. That sentiment, that spirit, does not rely on our circumstances.
You may also be interested in:
God in a Manger
The Lamb of God
The Peasant Prince
Wow! And I thought it was all about sick mothers and shoes...
Oh how I hate that song!
Many, actually, are closer to experiencing the original Christmas spirit as Mary and Joseph - dirt poor and full of anxiety over a 'unique' situation - traveled a great distance and struggled to find shelter. This very sitz im leben God chose as the moment to invade...
Very true, Luke. Thanks for pointing that out.
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