Dec9ThuDecember 9, 2021
Do you have any particular memories of the Advent Season? I certainly do. As a young boy I couldn’t wait for the Sears and Eaton’s Christmas Catalogues to arrive (yes I am THAT OLD). When they finally appeared, with their glossy pages bulging with colourful pictures of the latest toys and games, I would tear off the wrappings and spend hours laying on the living room floor imagining the joy of playing with every item on every single page of the toy section – why there were also clothes and stuff offered eluded my completely. Eventually I would pare my desires down to a page or two of requests and then while waiting expectantly for the “BIG DAY”, I’d pore over the books again and again to be sure I had not missed something important.
Now that I am older (although not necessarily grown up) I still l get excited about the coming of Christmas. Unlike the boy Donald, I no longer worry about what gifts might be under the tree; these days I am excited about celebrating the arrival of the greatest gift imaginable.
A week or so ago, my sister sent me a message that read, “Beginning December 1st, each evening, read one chapter of the Book of Luke. There are twenty-four chapters. On Christmas Eve you will have read the entire account of Jesus’ life and wake up on Christmas Morning knowing: Who, and Why we celebrate Christmas.”
Why Luke? Well it’s not solely because of its convenient chapter count, but rather because of how Luke tackles his account. While you read, you might notice some of the more familiar elements of the Christmas story. He makes no direct reference to the Maggi, Herod’s command to murder the children, or of the “Escape to Egypt”. Instead what he does, like an investigative reporter, is focus on the accounts of credible eyewitnesses, building a corroborated testimony of Jesus’ life – the Truth.
One of the people Luke introduces is a man called Simeon. This part of the story is in Chapter 2, and when you read it, you may be tempted to skip over it as it seems more of a side bar than a key element – don’t do it. What Simeon says in verses 28-35 is amazing.
In the same chapter, you’ll also meet Anna who has some important things to say to Mary and Joseph and all who were there.
In a few weeks, we will wake up to Christmas morning 2021, and, like last year, things will be different. Although our traditions and activities are still being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no reason to make the celebration any less joyful. After all, the world into which Jesus was born was a pretty nasty place, and yet the people then were anxiously awaiting the Messiah.
I know we’re already into December, but I challenge you to read Luke’s testimony. Simply read and reflect on two chapters a day until you catch up. It will be worth it.