“So this is Christmas…”

So this is Christmas. Another year over. The song is the same every year… the haunting melody sung from years past continues to waft across the speakers and all our subconsciouses. It’s one of those things where I both loath and love the song. John Lennon’s classic is both poignant in its questioning, and naive in its assumptions.

“So this is Christmas… what have we done? Another year over… a new one just begun.” What have we done to Christmas? Is it just another day of the year, or a day where we can get away with materialism, greed, and irresponsibility? Then there’s the idea that the year has come and is now over, and the idea of new birth is awesome.

Then there’s the chorus. “A very merry Christmas… and a happy new year. Let’s hope it’s a good one… without any fear.” Yes, great hope, John and Yoko. But really, how can we even possibly hope for a year without any fear? It’s not possible.

“War is over if you want it. War is over now.” I wish war was over. I want it all to be over so badly. But in our lifetime, that’s not happening… the economy is going down the toilet, the Koreas keep rumbling in turmoil, and the arms race happening with Iran continues to heat up. Not exactly humanity’s finest hour.

But then we turn away from the chaos, away from the tension… and turn to that time over 2000 years ago. By all accounts, it was a “silent night,” and nothing really was going on aside from a single bright star lighting up the night sky. In a cattle food trough in some old stable, a baby was born that night. They say the angels sang and rejoiced when this child came into the world. Clearly, there was something about that child.

We read in the Bible that He later grew up in a humble carpenter’s home, then, though he was innocent, died a criminal’s death on a rugged cross. And they say that mankind has never been the same since. And it isn’t the same – it now has HOPE through that child’s sacrifice.

HOPE that Lennon’s song will one day be reality. HOPE that we will live past the wars of our fathers. HOPE that some day, pain will be a footnote long forgotten.

As we sing Christmas songs around the world and celebrate with friends and family, let’s remember why we are doing it. It’s not because of the “Home Alone” re-runs, or “Charlie Brown’s Christmas.” It’s not about how the Grinch tried to steal Christmas. It’s about Jesus. Jesus is the reason for the season, and it’s his birthday party. Let’s treat him like the birthday boy that he is and not ignore the reason for this season and what we now have because of him.

We have HOPE. However dim it might be, however dreary the world’s prospects are, we have HOPE.

Maybe John Lennon was a prophet without even knowing it.

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