One of my favorite themes around Christmas is how it impacts so many people in so many positive ways. It's almost as if you could wake up, unaware of the date, and still know, somehow, that it was Christmas. People (the ones who have not allowed themselves to get totally stressed by the commercial nature of the holiday) are a little more polite, a little more giving, a little less self-centered and, yes, a little more spiritually minded.
I've often wondered how this happens when there are so many who are unsure of their faith and quite a few more that outright reject the notion of God at all. I believe we can find a clue to this in two passages of Scripture. The first one is in Psalm 139, where we see this;
Ps 139:13–16 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.
This tells us that each of us has been touched by the hand of God. I know some folks will vehemently disagree with this. But, I don't think God really needs folks to believe in His truth in order to make it so. This passage says we have been touched by God in a way that we have never been and will never be touched by anyone else. His hands have been on our unformed substance. Each one of us not only bears His image, we have felt His touch.
Furthermore, we see this;
Ec 3:10–11 I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.God has set eternity in our hearts. Somewhere in our heart of hearts, we all sense that there is something bigger than us, something that transcends our time and place, something that has true meaning and significance. We can deny this as well but it sits deep down inside us, whispering, "There must be more."
I'm fully aware of the man manufactured date issue and the various disputes over pagan-this and traditional-that. All these empty debates miss the real issue. December 25th is the day the world has set aside to remember the birth of Jesus Christ.
Truces are declared, businesses close down (mostly), families reconcile, gifts are exchanged, prayers are said and the world seems to breathe a short, tender sigh of peace for an all-too-short period of time. It's not universally observed...but it is universally there, lingering in our hearts.
Calling to us from a time before the womb, reminding us of the touch of our Creator, promising us an eternal portion of what we get such a fleeting glimpse of on Christmas Day. All we have to do is believe the touch was what it was, an etching on our hearts that God is exactly who He says He is...and redemption is found in His only Son, Jesus Christ.