Read this first: Ecclesiastes 4
15″I saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that youth who was to stand in the king’s place. 16There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him.” – Ecc. 4:15-16
Most of us have heard the story of ‘A Christmas Carol’ and know the character of Scrooge. It seems like the spirit of scrooge is still alive and well if we look around at some of the people we encounter amidst the business of our Christmas holidays. A few years ago I think I had the most ironic and oppressive encounter with such a character while working in a Greyhound parcel depot here in Calgary.
To be honest I took the job thinking it would be fun and I would be a deliverer of blessings and joy to many over the Christmas season. It was anything but and possibly one of the hardest jobs I have ever done. There I was sitting in the back room with no windows and just a fold out table in front of me stacked with piles upon piles of parcel delivery slips and just a small space for me to put a phone on. I would phone hundreds of people a day, trying desperately to pronounce their names right as I advised them of their parcel waiting for them to pick up.
By the third day I was beginning to feel like I had lost all meaning to Christmas and the Spirit of joy had slipped away. So in an effort to rekindle the fires if you will, I decided to bring in a music box and play some Christmas music in the background. Things were going smoothly until the mid day when I heard some shouting out in the front of the depot.
I came out from the back room that I was in through the double doors to the front and found close to fifty people all lined up at the front desk and winding slowly back towards the outer doors with the snowy cold blowing through them as more people came in. Robin, a coworker and friend, was at the desk trying to help a gentleman with finding the parcels he expected to receive once he arrived at the depot which unfortunately were no where to be found and he was extremely angry that we did not have his expected parcels.
“What do you mean you do not have my &%*#@ parcels!” He would shout at the top of his lungs as he tore strips off of Robin. “Listen to me you little #$%^&; I want my parcels now!”
Now picture this as I sat there watching what was going on while listening to this:
My heart wanted to just explode while the lyrics of the song rolled around in my head! Where was the love of Jesus? Where was the Christmas joy everyone was supposed to be celebrating? I was asking, “For whom is this guy toiling and depriving himself of pleasure?” (Ecc. 4:8)
I suppose it could be so easy to get wrapped up in the business of the season and forget the real reason we are celebrating. Christmas is more then presents, gifts, food, and the “Ooo’s” and “Ahh’s” of what did you give to so and so or what did I get.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus! Christmas is the season to rejoice in our King and Lord who has no end to those he leads and all who follow (Ecc. 4:16). Christmas is the joy of knowing we received the gift of Immanuel (God with us) and it is through his blessing that we can stand in his place (Ecc. 4:15) and be given the glory of being in the Kingdom of God as his children.
All that to say I wish you All a Merry Christmas and a Season for Rejoicing!
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” – Matthew 1:23