Last Thursday we decorated the church for Christmas, and on Friday, Bob and I finished the outside decorations on our house. The one thing I noticed about both times was that our garland and lights in both places were a tangled mess when we took them out of storage. Apparently, we weren’t too careful when we put things away last year. Because of that carelessness, we had to sort through all the tangles and twists before we could decorate for the Christmas holiday season.
A tangled mess. Christmas itself has become a tangled mess. I asked Google what the most popular Christmas movies were; it listed 15 of the top holiday movies based on google search interest. They are from #1 to #15: A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Polar Express, Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Elf, Home Alone, Love Actually, White Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, Bad Santa, Die Hard, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Jingle All the Way.
Somewhere in all that tangled mess is the truth of Christmas. It’s about the coming of a Savior, who is Christ Jesus the LORD. The Nativity cannot be separated from the Cross. The Cross cannot be separated from the Empty Tomb. The Empty Tomb cannot be separated from the Exaltation to the Right Hand of God.
Christmas is about the ultimate LORD-ship of Christ Jesus. The Book of Revelation reminds us that “All … will worship him …the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” [Rev 13:8 NKJV]
John reminded us that “grace and truth came through” Him. [John 1:17]
In our day, that grace and truth has become tangled up with elves and reindeer, santas and grinches. But when we untangle it, we will find the simple truth that Christmas is about Christ Jesus. As someone wrote, if you remove “Christ” from “Christmas,” all you have left is a “mas [mess].” A tangled mess.